HomeKit-WWDC-03

With iPhones in pockets, Macs on desks, iPads in bags, and iWatches soon coming to the wrist, Apple is said to be eyeing another category for continued growth: Smart Home hardware. The Cupertino-company is said to have assembled a team to work on various hardware products for the home that deeply integrate with the existing array of Apple devices on the market…

The development of these home products could be paused at anytime, but Apple is said to be beyond the exploratory phase of development.

Sources have not yet specified what category of home devices Apple is developing, but the people did note that Apple believes the home to be an incredibly important and lucrative potential market and that the devices will see “mainstream” usage.

The sources say that Apple is unlikely to move forward with devices to compete directly with Google’s Nest as the Cupertino-company feels it can build products that can gain usage wider than that of thermostats and smoke detectors. It is likely that Apple is building advanced speaker systems or control panels for homes, the sources say. It is possible that Apple’s recent acquisition of Beats Electronics and the audio company’s existing speaker systems play into this vision.

Apple’s introduction of HomeKit software at the recent Worldwide Developers Conference is not a coincidence as that iOS feature is said to have been developed directly with in-house hardware goals in mind. HomeKit will allow iPhone and iPad users to more easily control home appliances like lights, locks, and garage doors via apps and by voice with Siri.

A timeline on Apple rolling out hardware to integrate with HomeKit could not be learned. The Information is also reporting that Apple is developing hardware built on HomeKit software.

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Apple, on a couple of occasions, has previously tried the home appliances market. Nearly a decade ago, Steve Jobs introduced the iPod Hi-Fi stereo system. A rare flop for Apple, the speaker system failed in the market place due to high pricing and competition.

Apple also currently sells the Apple TV, but with growing competition from Google and Amazon, Apple will need to vastly improve its TV presence to remain competitive. Apple is said to be developing a revamped Apple TV for debut as soon as next year.

Apple’s approach to developing hardware from the home is yet another indicator of the company’s integrated hardware and software philosophy. Like with iTunes arriving before the iPod and the Health app arriving on iOS before the iWatch, Apple is creating a Smart Home ecosystem via its software and planting its feet in the category before introducing actual hardware.

While hardware for the home is farther down Apple’s product roadmap, this fall will see the debut of a wearable, new iPhones, and new Macs.

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42 Responses to “Apple said to be working on ‘mainstream’ Smart Home hardware”

  1. iPad-like control panels embedded in walls to do all this: sense you’re in a room to turn stuff on/off (lights, air conditioner), watch security cameras, see notifications, set the current oven temp/timer is, watch TV (while sitting on the toilet), listen to music in one or multiple rooms, see who’s calling your cell phone without picking up your cell phone, take a FaceTime call (while sitting on the toilet), etc, etc. Siri voice activation to set reminders, calendar events, etc,

  2. Reblogged this on Taste of Apple and commented:
    There’s a lot they can do in this space. Home kit is a start, however, it is very likely we will see this come true in the near future.

  3. I cannot wait to be in 2050 to see the future home and future life! :D

    • Ryan Pesso says:

      if we make it there… Not to be a downer but the ways things are going we need to solve about a million environmental problems and population control and bacterial infections etc etc etc.

      • You’re right. I cannot wait to be in 2050 for all things. Not only technology. ;-) I would like to see what the world looks like in the future. I hope it will be better…

      • irelandjnr says:

        As tech evolves the old ways before more important. Relaxation or meditation, nature, love, human touch, travel and hand made crafts become ever more crucial as we inevitably think technology solves all problems – which it does not. And I love tech. I just don’t love it at the expense or reality.

      • herb02135go says:

        Too bad a rumor of an iPhone screen provides more motivation for some than actually doing something constructive.

        How many people here would stand in line to reduce carbon emissions? None.

        Yes, let’s make light switches easier to use. That way, we can remain in the dark about real problems that harm the planet.

      • jakexb says:

        I think people *would* stand in line to stop global warming if that were possible. But no amount of standing in line will stop global warming.

      • herb02135go says:

        OK, they’ll stand in line, maybe. As long as they have their imported, resource-intense electronic iGadget.

        Would they walk? Not likely.

      • Kind of like the same stuff they were saying in 1978 with all that global cooling, overpopulation, and global hunger when the world passed 4 billion people. All that was going to happen by the year 2010.

        No worries! In the year 2050, they’ll be saying the same stuff!

        Misery never goes out of style!

  4. Its funny how writers make what apple is planning into something that has never been done before. Much of the technology already exits and is being used. Comcast/Xfinity and ADT alarm monitoring come to mind. Because Apple is doing it, wow!It becomes revolutionary.

  5. hmurchison says:

    I don’t really think there’s much of a hardware play here. The low hanging fruit is already out there. Remote Door Locks, Thermostats/HVAC, Window/Door sensors, Cameras. There’s not much room to craft a billion dollar industry without angering your partners.

    The best solution is to continue to build Home Kit out and create a robust bedrock for all of 3rd party vendors. Extensible software and UI is the key not the commodity hardware.

    • rogifan says:

      I’m sure people said there wasn’t a play in the MP3 space or the phone space. I don’t expect Apple to start designing garage door openers but something like a competitor to Sonos? Sure, why not?

    • You have no concept of what they are doing, no offense. Unless you are extremely imaginative and intelligent and then spend your time thinking of ways to improve life through technology, you won’t have a clue as to what they could be doing. Ask yourself if you’ve ever invented something or reimagined something so it betters human life. The answer is no, so don’t assume they aren’t working on something that will.

      • You mean like iBeacons in the home so as we move through our house, the music moves with us? Or rooms light up and dim as we walk out? Air conditioning for the room that we’re in, not the whole house? TV’s knowing what shows we like, and presenting shows and news to us that it thinks interest us?

        We are at the dawn of home automation. The things I listed were available 20 years ago through proximity sensors. These things, believe it or not, will save money in energy costs, and our imagination is the limit in the things that we can do.

    • PMZanetti says:

      Of course there is room for hardware. Most of what’s out there sucks. That’s usually when Apple gets into a game.

  6. for some reason i can imagine touch ID on all external door handles. my finger print to unlock like my iphone 5s and have the key as a backup. that would be pretty sweet!!

  7. Think about the products apple makes now, the markets they cater too. Yes I suspect home automation is a good target for them and a good expanding market.
    I don’t think panels and installation is where they will go though.
    They are about plug and play, ease of use, ‘it just works’
    I can see light bulbs, plug adapters on their way. Most likely is an airplay style system other manufacturers add to their devices and the device and things you can interact in will just appear.

    • You need to be thinking a lot more imaginatively. Apple isn’t working on lightbulbs and ‘plug adaptors’.

    • 1sugomac says:

      Apple buys boatloads of cameras, accelerometers, and other sensors that they could put into a plug and play module that would send data back to a central home automation server(AppleTV). You will plug one into each room of your house. As you walk around with your iPhone, it will triangulate the signals and combined with the camera’s input create a virtual map/model of your home. This will form the basis of Apple’s home automation system.

  8. “Apple is said to be developing a revamped Apple TV for debut as soon as next year.”

    Way to go against your previous reports stating they would be releasing a revamped Apple TV this year.

    • rettun1 says:

      I think “Apple TV” in this article means the rumored television set, and that “Apple TV” in the articles you are reffering to is about the small, black set top box.

  9. Apple Home Kit will read your body temperature and heart rate from your iWatch and then turn on the AC or thermostats etc. Future!

  10. I’m thinking Continuity will probably be a big part of “iWatch”. Also don’t forget AirPlay which I would love to have a couple of some day. It will be interesting to see how that product integrates into the HomeKit system.

    • tinasergio says:

      The best way to predict what the future will bring… is to create it!
      As someone* once said..
      “Ask not what technology can do for you… but what you can contribute to technology.”… or something like that.
      The point is..do something that benefits you in the future… and learn the universal language of the world. The language of code! Apples publicly released core code based platform makes it simpler and more efficient for non programers, to build apps that you feel would be useful, to your world.