The iPhone will become the ultimate remote control, capable of interfacing with all-manner of domestic systems, with news that the venture capital company managing the $100 million ‘iFund’ has taken a position in developers building an application called iControl.
iControl is one of two applications named as securing funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The other application is a location-based service from Pelago called Whrrl. One more unnamed developer has also secured funding, with an additional ten “under consideration”, a report claims. In excess of 1,700 applications for funding have been made so far, the report reveals.
Whrrl links the mapping and location-sensing features of the iPhone with the ability to find information about places where you, your friends, or anyone has been. It’s kind of like an active social network for travel information that lets users select between recommendations by their direct contacts and overall ratings by users of the network. That’s an interesting marriage of geo-tagging, location-aware services and the internet.
As revealed in a recent poll in which we asked what would make a good product from Apple, there’s some demand for an uber-remote control of some kind. 21 per cent of 2,286 people who voted in that poll expressed a preferences for iPhone-controlled home automation systems, with an additional 6 per cent stating an interest in a universal remote. That’s where iControl steps in. This solution offers iPhone users remote control over common household systems, including things like air conditioners, lighting, window shades, and more.
The software also offers remote home monitoring and control functionality – you can use your iPhone to check what’s happening at home using the Safari browser, so in the event of a burglary, for example, you’ll be able to alert the authorities and despatch images of the miscreants at the scene of the crime – your home. Unruly children can also be micro-managed remotely using this system.
iControl already faces one competing surveillance system, Mobiscope. This isn’t as well-featured as iControl, but as previously supported offers video surveillance of your office or home.