Apple is set to reveal its iPhone and iPad smart home technology at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) commencing June 2 in San Francisco. The concept of the Internet of Things may be closer at hand than many initially imagined. The Apple platform will allow third parties to develop software to allow iPhones and iPads to control televisions, security systems and other items in the home. Under Apple’s program, a third party application developer is awarded a badge to show that its app is compatible with the iPhone and iPad. Many believe that the foray by Apple into the smart home realm will enhance the convenience and popularity of the idea for many consumers. Smart home technology start-ups are attracting substantial investments and adding Apple to the mix could accelerate the software development process.
The concept of the smart home is still new enough that most people do not have a vision of how it might work or how they would benefit. The marketing magic of Apple could help the smart home and Internet of Things become more tangible to consumers. Google is already on the move to develop its own smart home technology. The software giant recently acquired Nest, which develops smart home thermostat technology. The upcoming announcement at the WWDC will allow Apple to gain a foothold in the developing market ahead of Google. As Apple reveals to developers its ideas for smart home technology and linking them to the iPhone and iPad, Google will look on from the sidelines as it prepares to launch its vision later.
Apple currently allows companies selling items such as speakers and headphones to represent that their products are “Made for iPhone” to show compatibility. The program to be announced at the WWDC is expected to offer the same type of Apple approved certification. Accessory developers such as Phillips, Dropcam and Nest could get their home products certified as compatible with Apple’s new platform.
In the smart home world, the iPhone could direct the lights to turn on in the house as the owner approaches, the thermostat could be adjusted and the security system turned off automatically. The television could also be turned on at the correct station for immediate viewing. No doubt more home devices will be linked to the smart phones as developers think of new methods to benefit the home. Apple will reportedly emphasize the security features of the system to help alleviate concerns over hacking and theft. The importance of security has been highlighted this past week as eBay users have dealt with hacking and data theft on a major scale.
Apple’s entry into the smart home arena with its iPhone and iPad platform to be revealed at the WWDC will likely accelerate the development of technology linking the devices to a host of products. The market needs an overall vision for the smart home and Apple’s launch could tie things together from a marketing standpoint so consumers can understand how a smart home will work. Hopefully, Apple’s effort will help provide a vision for the Internet of Things and the smart home.
By William Costolo