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Apple expected to unveil new smart home platform at WWDC - report

post #1 of 149
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At next week's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple is apparently planning to make a big splash in the connected "smart home" market, introducing new ways for the iPhone, iPad and even Apple TV to control lights, security systems and other household appliances.

Hue


Apple's apparent plans were revealed on Monday by the Financial Times, which citied unnamed sources as saying that the iPhone maker will unveil its new initiative at next week's WWDC 2014 keynote.

One example given by the report include lights that automatically turn on when an iPhone carrying user enters the home. Third-party device makers will apparently be able to tie into the ecosystem in a manner similar to Apple's current "Made for iPhone" licensing.

Even the Apple TV is expected to play a role in Apple's smart home initiative, as the report said an upgraded model released later this year will also be able to connect to household appliances.

Home Automation
An Apple "smart home" patent was first discovered by AppleInsider last year.


In next week's anticipated presentation, Apple is expected to focus on privacy in an effort to alleviate users' concerns about data collection and government surveillance. Such a move would be seen as a snub at Google, which has been scrutinized for its privacy policies and is also in the smart home business thanks to its $3.2 billion purchase of thermostat maker Nest earlier this year.

Apple has shown interest in smart homes over the years with various patent filings, many of which have shown the use of an iPhone as the centerpiece for connected appliances. In one filing, a new iPhone application is shown allowing users to build custom "scenes" that involve specific settings for devices like home lights, speakers, a television set and more.

Nest


There are a number of connected home devices already available on the market and compatible with the iPhone, most notably the Philips Hue smart LED bulbs which debuted exclusively at Apple's retail stores. The Hue allows users to create and save combinations of lighting in their home, thanks to the array of colors that can be displayed by the connected bulbs.

With devices like Hue and Nest already available, but controlled via separate dedicated applications, Apple's smart home efforts may serve as a way to unify these different products. By becoming certified as an Apple-sanctioned appliance, devices would be able to connect into Apple's ecosystem, and also will be able to display an authorized logo on the product packaging.

Such moves would allow Apple to establish a place in the growing connected home market without the need to build its own products and devices. Instead, those responsibilities could be handed off to third-party companies, much like has been done with speakers and docks in with Made for iPhone and Made for iPod licensing.
post #2 of 149
Well if anyone can do it right, it is Apple.
post #3 of 149
Sounds great, another thing that apple could prove software can do, vs android using hardware.
post #4 of 149
Sounds interesting. If Apple does go down this route, I hope they really invest in it and really push it. Not have it be something like Passbook or the MFI game controllers that haven't really taken off.
post #5 of 149
Interesting but wouldn't the home need to be hard-wired for Apple to be able to enable this?
post #6 of 149
Yes, this is the next frontier of how Apple can change the world. Basing it on a strong security is smart, because then the control of your house will not come at the expense of even more of your most personal data being sucked into the information superhighway and ads being shoved in your face when you want to dim the lights. It would be fantastic to have an app on the AppleTV that lets me view and control everything around my house and yard and/or with an iPhone or iPad, too.
post #7 of 149
oh, yes. bring it.
post #8 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Sounds interesting. If Apple does go down this route, I hope they really invest in it and really push it. Not have it be something like Passbook or the MFI game controllers that haven't really taken off.

 

you can't really blame apple for third-party API initiatives.

 

that being said -- there are a half-dozen different game controllers? and every major airline and venue ticketing system uses Passbook? not sure why thats a failure in your eyes...i use Passbook every time i travel and it's great.

post #9 of 149
Microsoft research has been studying a home platform via HomeOS for over five years, yet they've released no product whatsoever.

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/homeos/

Paul Thurrott on iPad (2010): "Anyone who believes this thing is a game changer is a tool. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is."

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Paul Thurrott on iPad (2010): "Anyone who believes this thing is a game changer is a tool. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is."

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post #10 of 149
I kind of hope this isn't what they'll be announcing. This sounds like "Nest" meets iOS and Nest is pretty boring. But it is Apple, whatever they do, it'll be done with grace and beauty.
post #11 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by smaceslin View Post

Well if anyone can do it right, it is Apple.

Yes and ... if any company can shit all over it with "Buy Viagra without prescription" ADs right under our a$$ .... was / is / will forever be ... GOOGLE! :smokey:

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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post #12 of 149

iOS in the car

 

iOS in the home. 

 

iOS in your brain.

post #13 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by NolaMacGuy View Post

you can't really blame apple for third-party API initiatives.

that being said -- there are a half-dozen different game controllers? and every major airline and venue ticketing system uses Passbook? not sure why thats a failure in your eyes...i use Passbook every time i travel and it's great.
Maybe it's not a failure but I don't think either of them are as successful as they could be. I hope Apple shows something off that will be the "ah, this is why they didn't go after. Nest".
post #14 of 149
Nice! Would love for the "green" effort from Apple to enter our homes! Now that would be cool (and explain why they didn't buy NEST).

Important is that they gather enough partners (something which Apple needs to become better at).
post #15 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Sounds interesting. If Apple does go down this route, I hope they really invest in it and really push it. Not have it be something like Passbook or the MFI game controllers that haven't really taken off.

MFI game controllers won't be that popular until the 2nd gen ones come out, being cheaper and better and most importantly, fit the next iPhone.

Once the new iPhone comes out and AppleTV gets an App store, that's when they'll become popular.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWilliams87 View Post

Microsoft research has been studying a home platform via HomeOS for over five years, yet they've released no product whatsoever.

And there's the difference. Apple wouldn't openly study something that long and not either do it or drop it in 5 years. Microsoft are just clutching at straws to try and find the next big thing to get them on top.

post #16 of 149
Nice to have something coming out of nowhere instead of something that leaked all over the place for months.
post #17 of 149
Perceptive Automation has a great piece of software in their Indigo product. It would be nice to see Apple%u2019s approach work well with established Macintosh/iPhone products like this.
post #18 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Maybe it's not a failure but I don't think either of them are as successful as they could be. I hope Apple shows something off that will be the "ah, this is why they didn't go after. Nest".

 

If you even use it once, it's successful. Every event that I attend that takes advantage of Passbook I utilize. So much easier than having to deal with paper tickets or looking for the email with the PDF ticket, or even looking for the PDF for that matter. Maybe you do not think it's successful because you do not personally use the product?

post #19 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegreatcaesar View Post

I kind of hope this isn't what they'll be announcing. This sounds like "Nest" meets iOS and Nest is pretty boring. But it is Apple, whatever they do, it'll be done with grace and beauty.

 

Nest is insanely limited compare to other home automation solutions on the market- home automation potential is anywhere but "boring".

 

If this happens, it would be absolutely stunning, since there really hasn't been any solid rumors about it at all. Proves that Apple will continue charting its own path instead of doing what everyone predicts (TV/smartwatch). Home automation is extremely exciting, its a nascent market with a million players in it, but still a complete mess with no standards. Apple could make a massive splash and pretty much dominate it if they really do it right. They already have many pieces of the puzzle to make it a seamless, intuitive experience. I'm thinking they will start simple initially (lights, etc) then branch out to more complexity once consumers get used to the idea. 

 

This is also a sensitive area where Apple has a major PR advantage, given the privacy stigma of Google. Many would not be comfortable buying home automation hardware that tracks your every move from an advertising company. 


Edited by Slurpy - 5/26/14 at 9:30am
post #20 of 149
Well, there's only one company I'd trust to create a keyless lock for my front door. And that's Apple. Hopefully this will be one of the capabilities they enable so that lock companies can make a bigger push into the 21st century. Everything along these line I've seen on the market thus far doesn't quite gain my trust.
Edited by RadarTheKat - 5/26/14 at 10:12am
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post #21 of 149
I am skeptical that anything can happen soon. A connected home is still many years away. The current setup for wifi (via cable or phone) is suboptimal for this type of thing.

Perhaps this is a bit pie-in-the-sky, but until someone finds a way to get us wifi via power lines, this is a 'pipe' dream.
post #22 of 149

One word: iBeacons

post #23 of 149

Now we know why Google bought Nest. This is all too funny! OMG, the copycats at Google. :lol:

post #24 of 149

Chasing Google again then, gotta catch up /s

post #25 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post

iOS in the car

iOS in the home. 

iOS in your brain.

I have to say -- it's in my brain already.
post #26 of 149
I've seen elsewhere some argue that this is doomed to failure if it isn't open. Pardon my ignorance but what exactly do they mean by open? Apple creating software for this for Android and Windows Phone? 3rd party hardware manufacturers supporting more than iPhones? We know Apple's primarily business model is designing software and services to support hardware sales. So my guess is Apple will create a platform that will make you want to buy an iOS device. I see this as being similar to CarPlay. And if this utilizes Bluetooth LE that can't really be considered closed can it?
post #27 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

Interesting but wouldn't the home need to be hard-wired for Apple to be able to enable this?

 

As Anan mentioned... this would have to be years in the future.

 

Mentioning pie in the sky dreams seems very unApple to me. That's Google's game.

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post #28 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

I've seen elsewhere some argue that this is doomed to failure if it isn't open. Pardon my ignorance but what exactly do they mean by open? Apple creating software for this for Android and Windows Phone? 3rd party hardware manufacturers supporting more than iPhones? We know Apple's primarily business model is designing software and services to support hardware sales. So my guess is Apple will create a platform that will make you want to buy an iOS device. I see this as being similar to CarPlay. And if this utilizes Bluetooth LE that can't really be considered closed can it?

 

Exactly, this will be used to spur more iOS device sales. If Apple offers a compelling and attractive home automation solution, and having an iPhone is the only way to use it, thats a pretty damn big differentiator. Creating an Android app would be moronic and would be naturally plagues with much added complexity in terms of reliability. 

post #29 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

 

As Anan mentioned... this would have to be years in the future.

 

Mentioning pie in the sky dreams seems very unApple to me. That's Google's game.

 

No, not necessary. Depends on implementation and scope. It can be accomplished through wifi and BL4.0. 

post #30 of 149

I love it! I love it! I love it!

Home automation is the natural progression and it is smart of Apple to lay down the foundation before it gets to fractured or Google breaks down the door.

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post #31 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post
 

 

No, not necessary. Depends on implementation and scope. It can be accomplished through wifi and BL4.0. 

 

So, you're saying that if it's done half-assed then it can be accomplished now.

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post #32 of 149

AppleTV would make perfect sense to be the center of a connected home for security (IP cameras, remote locks) and convenience (wirelessly controlled power outlets, switches and other devices).

 

I hope that Apple will adopt the current wireless protocols already established in the marketplace, such as ZigBee or Z-Wave (which are supported by heavyweights GE, Honeywell, Leviton). Then Apple can add their layer of polished applications software on top of these protocols, and an AppleTV would be perfect to tie these devices all together.

 

This may disrupt the current home security industry with their IP cameras and separate recording devices, or the emerging home automation market.

 

And it would all tie into the iPhone and iPad.

post #33 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Exactly, this will be used to spur more iOS device sales. If Apple offers a compelling and attractive home automation solution, and having an iPhone is the only way to use it, thats a pretty damn big differentiator. Creating an Android app would be moronic and would be naturally plagues with much added complexity in terms of reliability. 
Some of the freaking out over this reminds me of CarPlay, When that was announced some immediately assumed it meant their car buying decisions would revolve around what phone they used. All these people that want Apple to be "open" just need to get over it already. It's not happening. It works for Google only because they make most of their money off advertising. There's a reason Microsoft is getting into the hardware business (outside of mice and keyboards).
post #34 of 149

This makes perfect sense.

 

Apple users are 86.7% more likely to consider home automation than Android users. Yeah, I just pulled that figure out of my ass, but I'm pretty sure that the figure is not that far away from reality.

 

Home automation is probably not something that is cheap, and Apple households are far more likely to opt for such solutions than Android households. I saw that HP just released a brand new Android tablet that is priced at $100, and is on sale for $80 already. Anybody buying such devices are most likely not the kind of people that are thinking about any home automation. The amount of sub $100 tablets available is just disgusting. It's the opposite of environmentally friendly, they're just cheap junk, they're pollution, soon to end up in a landfill somewhere. The last thing on those people's mind is any home automation.

 

When home automation takes off, it'll be Apple leading the way, as usual.

post #35 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

This makes perfect sense.

Apple users are 86.7% more likely to consider home automation than Android users. Yeah, I just pulled that figure out of my ass, but I'm pretty sure that the figure is not that far away from reality.

Home automation is probably not something that is cheap, and Apple households are far more likely to opt for such solutions than Android households. I saw that HP just released a brand new Android tablet that is priced at $100, and is on sale for $80 already. Anybody buying such devices are most likely not the kind of people that are thinking about any home automation. The amount of sub $100 tablets available is just disgusting. It's the opposite of environmentally friendly, they're just cheap junk, they're pollution, soon to end up in a landfill somewhere. The last thing on those people's mind is any home automation.

When home automation takes off, it'll be Apple leading the way, as usual.

I think it's not just the price range that keeps Android users from using home automation. The security is probably a driving force with anyone who gives serious thought to it. Would you trust Android with control of your home? I wouldn't trust Android with the information I put in my iPhone/iPad, inviting that software into my home on a grand scale is a definite no-go.
post #36 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

 

So, you're saying that if it's done half-assed then it can be accomplished now.

 

Nope, that's not what I said but thanks for putting words into my mouth. Also, "half-assed" is a word you're using to define something you know absolutely nothing about yet. Don't see why a wireless solution is automatically "half-assed". 

post #37 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha View Post

Chasing Google again then, gotta catch up /s

To be accurate, Apple would have to have been thinking, designing, and engineering along these lines for at least a year, likely several to be ready to announce the effort next week. So Google's quite recent purchase of Nest amounts to Google attempting to buy their way into a game that Apple has already been playing at.
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Never own anything that poops. - RadarTheKat
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post #38 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post
 

iOS in the car

 

iOS in the home. 

 

iOS in your brain.

 

All we need now is an iCar, an iStore an iHospital and an iAirline and we're all set. I'm hanging for an iBeer right now.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #39 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post
 

One word: iBeacons

Two words: Two words.

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post #40 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post

So Google's quite recent purchase of Nest amounts to Google attempting to buy their way into a game that Apple has already been playing at.

 

I wonder how many Apple users are buying Nest detectors now? I would venture to guess that the figure has dropped dramatically.

 

Does Apple still sell those in their stores? They should obviously pull them from the shelves now.

 

And I wonder how many Google users (Android) are buying Nest detectors now? 

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