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

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  • Reply 121 of 150
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,527member
    It is awesome ... for some use cases.


    But, when you realize that many places in the country have cold winters with ice and snow. Because of that, roads are quite different in those places -- no reflectors in the road surface (center lines, lane edges, fire hydrant locations, etc) no imbedded traffic sensors in the road surfaces, etc, -- nothing that could be ripped up by a snow plow. Then, there's the whole infrastructure in place to plow, salt and maintain these roads -- with a vested interest in the status quo.


    The video asserts that the roads can be heated (at what cost) to prevent the need for plowing.


    I'm not saying that there isn't practical application for this kind of tech in some places -- but I doubt that it has as universal applicability as the video suggests.


    But there are some places like Downtown Phoenix which have become heat islands -- they could benefit greatly from this tech ... 'cept during monsoon season when the roads are awash with water.


    Ha! I remember one really wet monsoon season in the Tucson foothills. After a really hard rain one afternoon, there was so much water in the ground that it drove the tarantulas out of their nests -- they headed for the high ground -- the roads. Never saw anything like it -- the roads were literally crawling with spiders ... Really slick and almost impossible to drive anywhere ... better than a snow day!

    I think that, more than anything, these are concepts that need to have all the bugs ironed out. It's going to take a while. Certainly not within the next 20 years.

    Technology isn't always the answer. It's interesting to visit Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. They have no electricity -- the running water is a stream/river running through the Pueblo. The winters are very cold and the summers are very hot.

    They designed their houses out of [mostly] straw and mud with walls and ceilings 6 feet thick. Windows are very small and there are few doorways. The houses are situated to minimize or maximize the rays of the sun depending on the season. A small fire will heat the whole house in the winter. The construction will maintain comfortable interior temperatures regardless of outside conditions.

    Here's a mor modern version of an adobe house.


    1000
  • Reply 122 of 150
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

     
    It won't do the remote checking or opening for the UPS guy. That's what traditional connections are for (like power line networking, which works without having to put WiFi in the garage).



    However, an iBeacon will detect when your iPhone leaves the garage and can close your garage door if you forget. Likewise an iBeacon could lock your front door as soon as you leave the house.

    I'm not sure why you have an aversion to using WiFi. I have an AirPort Extreme and it can handle a lot of bandwidth. It is not like one person can overload the network anyway. The appliances are idle unless a condition changes or a command is sent. Very low network activity.

     

    My idea is that the home really needs a server and any automation feature is going to need to be connected to the server in some manner, either by Wifi or Ethernet. In the case of the garage door example, the motor mounted on the ceiling needs to be controlled by the server. In my opinion there is no point of having home automation features unless you can control things over the network. Being in proximity is not a compelling feature for me. If I am entering a room, how much effort is it to flip the light switch? To be able to unlock a door, monitor surveillance cameras, or be notified of smoke and security alarm status or environmental conditions, etc., all accessed from a remote location seems much more useful to me. 

  • Reply 123 of 150
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,527member
    mstone wrote: »
    But, when you realize that many places in the country have cold winters with ice and snow. Because of that, roads are quite different in those places -- no reflectors in the road surface (center lines, lane edges, fire hydrant locations, etc) no imbedded traffic sensors in the road surfaces, etc, -- nothing that could be ripped up by a snow plow. Then, there's the whole infrastructure in place to plow, salt and maintain these roads -- with a vested interest in the status quo.
    I hear ya. I remember years ago I was driving down PCH in Laguna at night and there are crosswalks with no traffic signals, You are just supposed to stop. I almost didn't see these young people trying to cross the street and I was so thankful that I finally saw them in time. When I got home I called my dad who was in Colorado and told him of my idea to have lights in the road to flash when people were trying to cross. He immediately said that will never work in Colorado because of snow plows.

    Now, all over Southern California they have flashing crosswalks including the one that I was talking about in Laguna. They say in the video that they have solved that issue so I don't see why it won't work.

    I especially like the heated road surface, then you don't need snow plows. The cost is easily absorbed by the fact that the US alone could be powering the entire planet with excess energy. I don't think the cost of heating the roadways in the north is that much of a reach, well except perhaps in the northeast where the trash, paving and snow plowing industries are controlled mostly by the guys with those crooked noses. What was I thinking? Forget about it!

    Even if heating all the roads is cost/energy effective -- the vested snow-removal infrastructure is a bigger hurdle.

    I don't know if you've ever lived where they have lots of snow. The long-established infrastructure would resist heated roads tooth and nail.

    The long-established infrastructure:

    I lived in ChicagoLand for 3 years:
    • You couldn't go to a store and buy cold cuts or packaged meat after 4:00 PM -- the stores could not sell meat without a butcher on site -- the stores didn't want to pay overtime after 4:00 PM
    • Your bank only had 1 bank -- no branches -- if you wanted to cash a check and weren't near your bank -- you went to a currency exchange and paid them to cash your check.
    • No ATMs back then

    Where I live now, because of the housing bubble, they are laying off police and firemen. Our small city has one street sweeper. The guy who sweeps our street schedules his route for the days when the trash and garbage cans are on the street near the curb. Soon after the garbage and trash pickup -- here comes the street sweeper ... he zips up and down the middle of the street, avoid ing the cans, and any mess at the curb.

    Technology. alone, isn't going to solve these sorts of problems
  • Reply 124 of 150
    Can someone find a way to automate online ID and password production, and replacement? All I want to do is simply be myself in my browser and occasionally be asked whether I want privacy with this web site or that comment.

    It is not an easy problem to crack, but replacing ID and passwords because someone else was sloppy is pretty aggravating.
  • Reply 125 of 150
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post



    Even if heating all the roads is cost/energy effective -- the vested snow-removal infrastructure is a bigger hurdle.



    I don't know if you've ever lived where they have lots of snow. The long-established infrastructure would resist heated roads tooth and nail.



    The long-established infrastructure:



    I lived in ChicagoLand for 3 years:

    • You couldn't go to a store and buy cold cuts or packaged meat after 4:00 PM -- the stores could not sell meat without a butcher on site -- the stores didn't want to pay overtime after 4:00 PM

    • Your bank only had 1 bank -- no branches -- if you wanted to cash a check and weren't near your bank -- you went to a currency exchange and paid them to cash your check.

    • No ATMs back then


    Where I live now, because of the housing bubble, they are laying off police and firemen. Our small city has one street sweeper. The guy who sweeps our street schedules his route for the days when the trash and garbage cans are on the street near the curb. Soon after the garbage and trash pickup -- here comes the street sweeper ... he zips up and down the middle of the street, avoid ing the cans, and any mess at the curb.



    Technology. alone, isn't going to solve these sorts of problems

    I'm surprised by your repy. You are usually much more forward thinking.

     

    This is not the old days. And as the video communicates, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. It can start with private driveways and parking lots. Can you imagine that grocery store that wouldn't sell meat after 4:00 PM having the only snow-free parking lot? They could afford to have two overtime butchers on staff with all the extra business they would have on snow days.

  • Reply 126 of 150
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post

    Well, there's only one company I'd trust to create a keyless lock for my front door. And that's Apple. 

     

    Picture this: You get home, you touch the doorknob, and it unlocks immediately. Why? Because Apple used that patent of theirs that distinguishes users based on THE CAPACITANCE OF THEIR BODIES to detect that it’s you who’s home. No fingerprint sensor, no iris sensor. You just touch the doorknob and it knows that it’s you.

  • Reply 127 of 150
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    Picture this: You get home, you touch the doorknob, and it unlocks immediately. Why? Because Apple used that patent of theirs that distinguishes users based on THE CAPACITANCE OF THEIR BODIES to detect that it’s you who’s home. No fingerprint sensor, no iris sensor. You just touch the doorknob and it knows that it’s you.


     

    There's a joke there...  lol

  • Reply 128 of 150
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    There's a joke there...  lol

    That's some joke if it went over Tallest's head. ;)
  • Reply 129 of 150
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    That's some joke if it went over Tallest's head. image

     

    Oh... I'm sure it didn't go over TS's head. 

  • Reply 130 of 150
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Oh... I'm sure it didn't go over TS's head. 

    TS has a head? Thought he was a robot...
  • Reply 131 of 150
    kent909kent909 Posts: 731member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

     

    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.


    I agree the Nest UI is not much to use. Because I actually use the Internet or an app to control and program my Nest it does not matter how poor the UI on the thermostat is. In the time it would take me to find the manual to program previous thermostats with the most minimal of schedules, I can add complex scheduling to my Nest. The main problem with the Nest is I have had it for 18 months now and it no new functionality has been added. I think Apple will improve that situation with any device it controls by always expanding functionality.

  • Reply 132 of 150
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    I'm not sure why you have an aversion to using WiFi. I have an AirPort Extreme and it can handle a lot of bandwidth. It is not like one person can overload the network anyway. The appliances are idle unless a condition changes or a command is sent. Very low network activity.

     

    My idea is that the home really needs a server and any automation feature is going to need to be connected to the server in some manner, either by Wifi or Ethernet. In the case of the garage door example, the motor mounted on the ceiling needs to be controlled by the server. In my opinion there is no point of having home automation features unless you can control things over the network. Being in proximity is not a compelling feature for me. If I am entering a room, how much effort is it to flip the light switch? To be able to unlock a door, monitor surveillance cameras, or be notified of smoke and security alarm status or environmental conditions, etc., all accessed from a remote location seems much more useful to me. 


     

    I don't have an aversion to WiFi - I have an aversion to trying to connect a large number of devices to a single router over WiFi. I have used several routers over the years and they have all worked great, but I've had issues when I lived in a condo because everyone had a router. Over a hundred routers in a high-rise makes for a lot of interference and overlapping channels. I actually switched several devices back to wired as I often had connection issues or bandwidth issues (mainly my wireless printer and my Apple TV). Start adding in a whack of other non-computing devices and you can see where problems can arise.

     

    Then there's the security issue. WiFi is so bloody easy to snoop, and I don't like the idea of devices in my house/condo being manipulated by some nerd next door playing around with his new hacking program he just downloaded. I'd prefer hard wired connections for anything security related (door locks, garage door) while using powerline for everything else.

     

    I'm not suggesting that iBeacons/Bluetooth is the ONLY thing being used for automation. You still need a server, router/switch and a combination of wired and WiFi connections. But these already exist. iBeacons brings the granularity to tie it together.

     

    I can come up with several ideas how they could improve things. I wonder what ideas Apple or developers can dream up that we haven't though of yet.

  • Reply 133 of 150
    adamcadamc Posts: 583member
    imat wrote: »
    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).

    Nest is a nest of ex-Apple employees so why should they buy Nest when they know these guys will leave again. Nest is not as unique as you thin and others may come up with a better idea besides $3.2b I believe can come up with wonders.

    The third party guys are the one that push the market and when they realize they can make money via Apple they will come on board like the app developers.
  • Reply 134 of 150
    customtbcustomtb Posts: 346member
    Most exciting rumor I've seen in ages !
  • Reply 135 of 150
    dsddsd Posts: 186member

    I've got my credit card ready. Where's my iBong?

  • Reply 136 of 150
    constable odoconstable odo Posts: 1,041member

    It's been claimed that Apple knows absolutely nothing about connected homes and "the Internet of Things" so this would be quite a surprise to the news media.  Everyone says that only Google is capable of putting control of the home into users' hands and that Apple's core hardware business will be obsolete in a few years.  My take is that Apple can always acquire what it needs to stay relevant but the news media and analysts say it isn't possible.  I don't know why it is believed that Apple's way of thinking is set in stone and won't ever evolve.  Is this belief based on how most companies function?  That once they set on a path, they never deviate?  In theory, Apple has enough money to deviate in all sorts of directions if they wanted to although I'm not sure if a company can easily do such a thing.  As long as you've got an overseer of ongoing projects I would think they could always be tied together in some fashion to be used in a longer term plan.  At least that's my simplistic view of how a company can operate.

     

    I would think it's easier for Apple to become a software company like Google than Google becoming a hardware sales company like Apple mainly because of Apple's 400 retail stores, long-term branding and loyal customer base.  Those things takes years to establish.  I think Apple could establish a strong search engine in a year or so by acquiring a search engine and putting it by default on all of its devices.  Apple could push that out in no time at all.  I'm not quite familiar with how search algorithms work but even a small search engine like DuckDuckGo can come up with some very strong search results very quickly.  Anyway, let's see what WWDC brings to the table and see if Apple's interconnected home is just as good as what Google has envisioned.  At least Apple won't be pumping ads to those devices if they make money on selling the hardware.

  • Reply 137 of 150
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

     
    I don't have an aversion to WiFi - I have an aversion to trying to connect a large number of devices to a single router over WiFi. I have used several routers over the years and they have all worked great, but I've had issues when I lived in a condo because everyone had a router. Over a hundred routers in a high-rise makes for a lot of interference and overlapping channels. I actually switched several devices back to wired as I often had connection issues or bandwidth issues (mainly my wireless printer and my Apple TV). Start adding in a whack of other non-computing devices and you can see where problems can arise.


    Ok I can't reply to all of your comments but WiFi exploits generally require the attacker to be logged on to your wifi such as arp spoofing. Furthermore, if you are living in a condo high rise you are not the target market for home security as there are complications such as association regulations regarding those types of installations. The target market is probably single family homes.

  • Reply 138 of 150
    joekewejoekewe Posts: 28member
    I've been running an Indigo home automation system for my house and office for years. I can monitor and check most lights, thermostat, doors, motions sensors, irrigation, etc. from my iMac or anywhere with an iPhone. It's easy to write schedules, triggers, events, notifications, and even custom python or AppleScript programs. You can also quickly create custom UIs for iPhone and iPad for free once you buy the server. Device communications happen over wireless and power lines. Good stuff.
  • Reply 139 of 150
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,385member
    smaceslin wrote: »
    Well if anyone can do it right, it is Apple.

    It depends on how complex and how far they want to scale. If you look at home automation, there are the smaller system players, which is what Apple would probably do since it's not as expensive as the high end custom installs, but the big players are Crestron, Control 4, Savant, and a whole bunch of ofhers, these guys have intense systems where they have a high degree of programmability and connectivity to everything you can imagine and they typically cost a pretty penny to do the entire house/commercial building, etc. and they typically required trained professionals performing the programming and installation.

    For the average home that wants more basic functionality is probably what Apple is thinking since they would go after the typically home owner that only wants to spend $500 to a couple of thousand and just wants basic functionality without too much hassle. X10 is also a player for the DIY crowd.

    If you ever have a chance to see what's possible, Savant is a fairly new company that's Apple only and they have some cool things they can do. It's pretty incredible, but for an entire house, those systems can definitely start in the thousands, but it's top notch and I don't think Apple wants to go after them since they would better off buying Savant or someone like that and then bringing the technology down to a more affordable price point where it could then scale upwards with a higher end system. They usually have lots of routers that connect to each item on the network that has sensors, etc, and then there is a server that gets programmed with a custom programmed iOS app.

    It's definitely a growing market that Apple's been eyeing for a while and it's going to be interesting to see what they do, how much it costs and how it compares to the top end products. But in your spare time, check out Savant and Élan and couple of other home automation companies that do the high end just to see what's possible.
  • Reply 140 of 150
    reinthalreinthal Posts: 39member
    What I mean is that wouldn't the house itself need to be wired to accept input from iOS devices?

    No, there are Wi-Fi plugs that plug into your normal outlet. You plug the Wi-Fi plug into your normal outlet then you plug your lamp, kettle, TV, whatever into it.
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