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Apple expected to unveil new smart home platform at WWDC - report - Page 2

post #41 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

A connected home is still many years away. 

 

You have to start somewhere. Fully connected is still far away I suppose, but partially connected is a good place to start.

post #42 of 149

And what could this home-centric hub be called ?  Could this be the already famous "iWatch" ? iWatch my home, iWatch my health, etc.  Maybe this wrist-worn thing was just a decoy for "others" to copy.... This would be a historic chess move. :)

post #43 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by formosa View Post
 

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.

1) AppleTV's user interface is already cluttered, clunky, and inefficient. The remote is an embarrassment. Unless both get a serious re-think (let's hope that happens soon!), it's pointless to add more functionality.

 

2) Apple's history with networked product and service offerings -- iTools, iDisk, dotmac, iCloud, Mail, iChat, Ping, MobileMe, to name the ones that come to mind offhand (there are many many more) -- has been less-than-stellar. Lots of initial promise that went nowhere, and got withdrawn or revamped (which, in turn, went nowhere).

 

3) The tie-in with iPhone/iPad will probably need Siri to get to the next stage, off beta. In my view, even the current iPhone/iPad remote for AppleTV is mediocre. Moreover, it does not work if I use a wired connection for my AppleTV.

post #44 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha View Post
 

Chasing Google again then, gotta catch up /s

 

C'mon. That's the cognitive dissonance that allows Andy Rubin to sleep at night.

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post #45 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.

No they'll just be playing catch-up ;-)

post #46 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

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.

I have a 100mb fibre connection. No need for power lines.
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post #47 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

 

You have to start somewhere. Fully connected is still far away I suppose, but partially connected is a good place to start.

Can't disagree with that. But I am tempering my enthusiasm, that's all.

post #48 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?

No, it can use WiFi with smart devices.  The devices will need to adhere to Apple's protocol.

(i.e. WiFi enabled lights, alarms, thermostats, smoke detectors, TVs, refrigerators, stoves, Microwaves, printers, speakers etc... )

post #49 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by formosa View Post
 

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).

 

And it would all tie into the iPhone and iPad.

 

I think AirPort Extreme + iPhone would make more sense. Because home automation, security videos, etc. should be accessible even if you're not at home in front of your TV.

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post #50 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post
 

No they'll just be playing catch-up ;-)

 

So that's what punchcards were for :lol:.

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post #51 of 149
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Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

I have a 100mb fibre connection. No need for power lines.

The speed of the connection is perhaps the least of it. It's about how you get all the devices that need to communicate with each other connected in the first place. Especially since a vast majority of it will have to be retro-fitted.

post #52 of 149

I look forward to seeing how this plays out.  I own Philips Hue bulbs and I can't say enough good things about them.  I have my lights set up to automatically turn on if I come home after sunset.  The bulbs use a geofence, so they turn on a few minutes before I get to my front door.  I've also programmed some light settings into keyboard hotkeys on my Mac and into my universal remote.  It's such a marvelous system.  The Hue iPhone and iPad apps are neat, but I haven't used the apps since setting up my hotkeys and universal remote buttons.

post #53 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

1) AppleTV's user interface is already cluttered, clunky, and inefficient. The remote is an embarrassment. Unless both get a serious re-think (let's hope that happens soon!), it's pointless to add more functionality.

 

2) Apple's history with networked product and service offerings -- iTools, iDisk, dotmac, iCloud, Mail, iChat, Ping, MobileMe, to name the ones that come to mind offhand (there are many many more) -- has been less-than-stellar. Lots of initial promise that went nowhere, and got withdrawn or revamped (which, in turn, went nowhere).

 

3) The tie-in with iPhone/iPad will probably need Siri to get to the next stage, off beta. In my view, even the current iPhone/iPad remote for AppleTV is mediocre. Moreover, it does not work if I use a wired connection for my AppleTV.


1) True, I was implicitly referring to the next-gen or "non-hobby" AppleTV, which, I hope, takes it to another level of UI functionality and hardware capability.

 

2) I was referring to Apple using the existing hardware devices (where relevant) and protocols in the case of home automation and not re-inventing it. The entry cost barrier is already high for this market; don't make it higher. My hope is that Apple can simplify setting up a connected home as simply as setting up WiFi. Look at Mi Casa Verde's UI - not the most intuitive (along with its $30 iPhone app!). Apple (software engineers) can do better.

 

3) Agreed.

post #54 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?

What's wrong with wireless?

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.

I think the Nest thermostat has grace and beauty.

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Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

One word: iBeacons

One word: Explain.

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post #55 of 149
So that's why they are buying Beats. It all makes sense now...
post #56 of 149
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Originally Posted by Ireland View Post
 

I'm hanging for an iBeer right now.

 

It's called "hard cider".  

post #57 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


What's wrong with wireless?

What I mean is that wouldn't the house itself need to be wired to accept input from iOS devices?

 

For example, wouldn't I need to hook some dongle or have a hard-wire to my lights, television, oven etc to enable my iDevices to turn them on wirelessly when I enter the room?

post #58 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 
The speed of the connection is perhaps the least of it. It's about how you get all the devices that need to communicate with each other connected in the first place. Especially since a vast majority of it will have to be retro-fitted.

The way I see it evolving is that any device which needs AC power and typically has a power cord plugged into an outlet can have an onboard WiFi interface. That would give it a lot of control and feedback possibilities. As far as retrofitting a legacy device that only needed AC on/off functionality, a third party adapter could be a solution. It would plug into a typical wall outlet and provide WiFi control of the power similar to the current mechanical lamp timers that I use when on vacation.

 

I can also imagine a home server that would interact with all these new smart devices so that appliances can be controlled in various scenarios sort of like automatic irrigation systems or thermostats work now, except you would be able to log into your server with an iOS app to make changes from anywhere in the world using a protocol similar to back to my Mac.

 

As far as automation that requires AC power, but is not near a wall outlet or doesn't normally have a power cord such as the new smart deadbolt on your front door, that would probably require some hard wiring by a contractor. The cost of each individual WiFi or BT connected device will obviously be more expensive than the traditional dumb device, but they can be added to the smart home one at a time as the owner decides.

 

Personally, I am planning to build a new custom home stating next year so I'm going to give this a lot of thought. I was already planning to install a lot of extra power outlets, ethernet, TV, in every room. I'll be putting in a lot of custom plumbing and electrical systems and this new Apple home automation fits right in with my plans. I'm excited to see what they offer.


Edited by mstone - 5/26/14 at 12:20pm

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post #59 of 149
I have recently had an automated home heating and hot water control system installed. One of its selling points is that apart from much greater control of the central heating and hot water was that the the heating can be turned off when the last person leaves the house and turned on again when the first person returns provided they all have location software running on each smartphone. I can see now this idea could be used for other home automated functions such as lights, doors or security systems. Connecting them all so as you arrive home the alarm deactivates, the door unlocks and the lights go on in the hallway sounds like a good idea. However, the biggest issue is security breaches of the software. If someone could hack into my heating software, then they can tell from it if the house is empty and how far away we are. If I set the holiday setting meaning away for sometime that could be really valuable information to the wrong type of people. So if Apple is to move into home automation and control market I for one will now be thinking more about how secure it will be. All your eggs in one basket may not be such a good idea after all.
post #60 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

The way I see it evolving is that any device which needs AC power and typically has a power cord plugged into an outlet can have an onboard WiFi interface. That would give it a lot of control and feedback possibilities. As far as retrofitting a legacy device that only needed AC on/off functionality, a third party adapter could be a solution. It would plug into a typical wall outlet and provide WiFi control of the power similar to the current mechanical lamp timers that I use when on vacation.

 

I can also imagine a home server that would interact with all these new smart devices so that appliances can be controlled in various scenarios sort of like automatic irrigation systems work now, except you would be able to log into your server with an iOS app to make changes from anywhere in the world using a protocol similar to back to my Mac.

 

As far as automation that requires AC power, but is not near a wall outlet or doesn't normally have a power cord such as the new smart deadbolt on your front door, that would probably require a some hard wiring by a contractor. The cost of each individual WiFi or BT connected device will obviously be more expensive than the traditional dumb device, but they can be added to the smart home one at a time as the owner decides.

 

Personally, I am planning to build a new custom home stating next year so I'm going to give this a lot of thought. I was already planning to install a lot of extra power outlets, ethernet, TV, in every room. I'm be putting in a lot of custom plumbing and electrical systems and this new Apple home automation fits right in with my plans. I'm excited to see what they offer.

 

I would imagine that home building will be quite different within the next 50-60 years. The home and driveway will be clad in solar cells, connectivity will be easy and abundant, exterior and interior. Within 100 years the smart home will be quite complete... but most people today might not call the results aesthetically pleasing... even though the design will be clean and efficient. 

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post #61 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 
I would imagine that home building will be quite different within the next 50-60 years. The home and driveway will be clad in solar cells, connectivity will be easy and abundant, exterior and interior. Within 100 years the smart home will be quite complete... but most people today might not call the results aesthetically pleasing... even though the design will be clean and efficient. 

Establishing standard communication protocols is important I think. For example my garage doors have some smart home certified logo on them which is compatible with built-in automobile remote controls. If Apple can define the new standard such as they have done with iBeacons then all manufacturers can move forward quickly.  Right now there are several competing process automation control protocols.

 

To you point about aesthetics, I never considered a driveway as a solar collector. I like that idea. I have been struggling with the solar design for my new home because I want it to look like a traditional Spanish colonial but be all high-tech behind the scenes.

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post #62 of 149

This could be the start of something big.

It'll be interesting to see how Apple makes money from this.

 

Time will tell.

post #63 of 149
Quote:
lord amhran 05/26/2014 11:06 AM
Interesting but wouldn't the home need to be hard-wired for Apple to be able to enable this?

This would need to happen regardless of whether the client was iOS/Android/Microsoft.
post #64 of 149
This would be amazing!

I have several home automation products. Controlling them all in one app would be sweet.

iZon, NEST, Zwave, airplay speakers, WeMo%u2026 Etc etc

I can't wait to get more info from the presentation.
post #65 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dachar View Post

I have recently had an automated home heating and hot water control system installed. One of its selling points is that apart from much greater control of the central heating and hot water was that the the heating can be turned off when the last person leaves the house and turned on again when the first person returns provided they all have location software running on each smartphone. I can see now this idea could be used for other home automated functions such as lights, doors or security systems. Connecting them all so as you arrive home the alarm deactivates, the door unlocks and the lights go on in the hallway sounds like a good idea. However, the biggest issue is security breaches of the software. If someone could hack into my heating software, then they can tell from it if the house is empty and how far away we are. If I set the holiday setting meaning away for sometime that could be really valuable information to the wrong type of people. So if Apple is to move into home automation and control market I for one will now be thinking more about how secure it will be. All your eggs in one basket may not be such a good idea after all.


That is a risk indeed: A single point of failure .. when your credit card, bank account, home, car ? and whatever else, are all under the central control of one manufacturer. Not an option that I would like to participate in. (But home automation isn't on my agenda anyway).

post #66 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

 

I would imagine that home building will be quite different within the next 50-60 years. The home and driveway will be clad in solar cells, connectivity will be easy and abundant, exterior and interior. Within 100 years the smart home will be quite complete... but most people today might not call the results aesthetically pleasing... even though the design will be clean and efficient. 

 

I would expect newer homes to be wired with home automation controller(s) in mind, but the existing 100 million houses/condos/apartments? Apple has succeeded due to leveraging infrastructure that was easy to get into homes(WiFi routers) or piggy-backing on public infrastructure(3G/4G networks). No matter what you need infrastructure investments.

post #67 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

What I mean is that wouldn't the house itself need to be wired to accept input from iOS devices?

For example, wouldn't I need to hook some dongle or have a hard-wire to my lights, television, oven etc to enable my iDevices to turn them on wirelessly when I enter the room?

Sure, they'd need to work with the other devices, but that's something that will be made for that, like with Phillips Hue. There won't be a dongle for your current oven/stove, instead you'll have to wait until Apple makes one, or rather, Apple releases protocols and guidelines that allow household appliance makers to work with an Apple device. Not unlike how iBeacons use standard protocols that OS vendor can access, although I'd expect that this would use an encrypted connection and be a two-way communication.

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post #68 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

I would imagine that home building will be quite different within the next 50-60 years. The home and driveway will be clad in solar cells, connectivity will be easy and abundant, exterior and interior. Within 100 years the smart home will be quite complete... but most people today might not call the results aesthetically pleasing... even though the design will be clean and efficient. 

I agree with that, but at any given point, new buildings are only a small slice of the market for home appliances/devices. Any serious business model will have to rely on retro-fits.

 

It's the same with commercial buildings as well.

post #69 of 149
Apple has stated they will be expanding hardware products in their traditional product matrix. We shall see.
post #70 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post
 

What I mean is that wouldn't the house itself need to be wired to accept input from iOS devices?

 

For example, wouldn't I need to hook some dongle or have a hard-wire to my lights, television, oven etc to enable my iDevices to turn them on wirelessly when I enter the room?

 

Yes.

 

In short, you'll need a product that ties and manages your power systems as an automated platform that communicates to your iOS devices, which can control the lights, power the appliances, etc. Then again, other than on/off most appliances are dumb units. The AT&T Smart home commercial shown on TV requires all smart appliances, including controlling water flow rates, which would require thousands of dollards of replaced equipment+ twice that in installation services.

 

Controlling the garage door to open, unlock your house, to setting the even lights will be what most people would want to afford. Hopefully, Apple is targeting something more long-term like Off-the-Grid Power from Solar/Wind management tools/hardware etc, to provide a platform for Enterprises and Small-to-Large Businesses.

post #71 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

I agree with that, but at any given point, new buildings are only a small slice of the market for home appliances/devices. Any serious business model will have to rely on retro-fits.

 

It's the same with commercial buildings as well.

 

That's why I mentioned 50-60 years as a starting point where we will see at least half of all buildings having been partially or completely built for smart tech and in 100 years the majority of buildings will have been built for smart tech.

 

Anything over the next 30 years will definitely be hit and miss and, yes, will have to be retrofitted but will begin to improve beyond that time frame... very similar to buildings/houses that were built in the late 1800s having to be retrofitted for plumbing and electricity. It won't always look elegant but it will work.

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post #72 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

The speed of the connection is perhaps the least of it. It's about how you get all the devices that need to communicate with each other connected in the first place. Especially since a vast majority of it will have to be retro-fitted.

The existing internal wiring in most houses can also transmit data. And that is the way to do this. Wifi doesn't scale.

Example:

http://m.shop.bt.com/products/tp-link-av200-200mbps-nano-powerline-adapter-starter-kit-7KJ7.html
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post #73 of 149
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Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

One word: Explain.
iBeacons are the cheapest and easiest way for an iPhone to determine where you are in your house. Adding location awareness to home automation is how I think Apple will differentiate themselves from everyone else.

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post #74 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I think the Nest thermostat has grace and beauty.

The Nest thermostat looks nice, but the UI is awful (on par with the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch), its intelligence isn't, and its connectivity is limited. Honeywell does much better with the Prestige 2.0.

post #75 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

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.
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Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

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.

I think the tech already exists -- though it's [currently] targeted at enterprise.
Quote:
Qualcomm unveiled a software platform in the 2013 CES that will allow household devices to communicate with each other. Google recently acquired Nest Labs, a private company that makes smart home controls like thermostats and smoke detectors – suggesting that Google may also become known for its smart home presence.

Investors have taken notice, chasing after the shares of two smaller companies: Echelon ELON +3.63% Corporation and Control4 Corporation. Both are considered to be ‘pure plays’ in the smart home industry, as discussed in a previous piece.

Echelon Corporation has long been a pioneer in connecting everyday devices to the Internet — though it has become focused on energy control networking solutions. Its products enable everyday devices — such as air conditioners, appliances, electricity meters, light switches, thermostats and valves — to be inter-connected. This technology is certainly making the company a pure play in the smart home industry.

Control4 Corporation (NASDAQ:CTRL) is another pioneer in the technologies that connect everyday devices, though it was established much later than Echelon. Its Control4 Home Operating System allows music, video, lighting, temperature, security, communications and other devices to communicate with each other. In addition, it offers 4Sight subscription options, which allow for the remote control and monitoring of home devices through smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmourdoukoutas/2014/02/20/the-smart-way-to-invest-in-the-smart-home/

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About Echelon Corporation

Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON) develops, markets and supports the world's most proven, open standard, multi-application energy control networking platform. Echelon’s vision from its inception 20 years ago is one of low-cost embedded monitoring and control technology in every electrically controlled device in the world. Today Echelon’s technology platform is embedded in more than 100 million devices, 35 million homes, and 300,000 buildings. Our platform powers energy-savings applications for smart grids, smart cities and smart buildings that help customers save 20% or more on their energy usage, reduce outage duration or prevent them from happening entirely, reduce carbon footprint and more. Today Echelon offers, directly and through its partners worldwide, a wide range of innovative solutions including smart metering, smart grid optimization, smart street lighting, and smart buildings. We are headquartered in Silicon Valley, have sales offices around the world and a development center in Fargo, North Dakota.

http://www.echelon.com/company/


I had a conversation with Mike Markkula where he described what his new company [Echelon} was about. Basically, he said that they had an inexpensive module that connected to the power lines [in the home] at every outlet or switch. Each device has an unique address -- and the device can be read to detect status [on/off, power consumption] or controlled to set status. At that time, they were concentrating on in the home solutions -- that was later expanded to target enterprise solutions.
Quote:
Armas Clifford Markkula, Jr.

Armas Clifford Markkula, Jr is the founder of our company and has served as a director since 1988. He has been Vice Chairman of our Board of Directors since 1989. Mr. Markkula was Chairman of the Board of Apple Computer from January 1977 to May 1983 and from October 1993 to February 1996 and was a director from 1977 to 1997. A founder of Apple, he held a variety of positions there, including President/Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of Marketing. Prior to founding Apple, Mr. Markkula was with Intel Corporation as Marketing Manager, Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation as Marketing Manager in the Semiconductor Division, and Hughes Aircraft as a member of the technical staff in the company’s research and development laboratory. Mr. Markkula is a trustee of Santa Clara University. Mr. Markkula received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California.

http://www.echelon.com/company/investor/corpgov/board-of-directors.htm#a-c-markkula


I've always thought that Apple and Echelon were a natural fit -- maybe the tech and time are right!

BTW, ELON has a market cap of ~$109 Milllion. Echelon;s power shedding tech, alone, is probably worth that price.
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 5/26/14 at 1:33pm
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post #76 of 149

If you think about it...

 

Apple could end up getting a cut of every home appliance on the planet.

What's more they get a cut on the payment as well when you buy it using their mobile payment system.

 

If this is the case, who can predict what will happen to the stock? $200 after the split?

 

The question is will Samsung choose to license it or copy it?  Time will tell.

post #77 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Apple has stated they will be expanding hardware products in their traditional product matrix. We shall see.

 

Noooo! Steve is tired of turning over in his grave. /s

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post #78 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taniwha View Post
 

That is a risk indeed: A single point of failure .. when your credit card, bank account, home, car ? and whatever else, are all under the central control of one manufacturer. Not an option that I would like to participate in. (But home automation isn't on my agenda anyway).

 

What's really awesome, is that tech nerd can't wait for everything to unite under one Google. They look forward to that day, because Google is just awesome. Google for everything. And everything for Google.

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post #79 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

iBeacons are the cheapest and easiest way for an iPhone to determine where you are in your house. Adding location awareness to home automation is how I think Apple will differentiate themselves from everyone else.

The only role of the iBeacon is to advertise to the phones of its own existence at the physical location. Why do I need iBeacon to tell me I'm in front of the fridge when I'm in my kitchen? I guess if I were blind that would be useful but that still wouldn't mean that these location-based beacons need to be built into appliances themselves.

What needs to happen are protocols that allow Bluetooth or WiFi to be used to send data to from connected devices locally and/or the internet so you can turn off/on, adjust, get warnings, etc. about various electronic devices in the home. iBeacons can't do any of that.

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post #80 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

What's really awesome, is that tech nerd can't wait for everything to unite under one Google. They look forward to that day, because Google is just awesome. Google for everything. And everything for Google.

On the planet I live on there is increasing hostility to google.
I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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