How Apple could create the smart home for the rest of us

“Your home is your largest gadget. It’s teeming with all your electronics that outside of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, rarely talk to each other in any meaningful way,” Roberto Baldwin writes for TNW. “Over the past few years, companies have attempted to create a more connected home with the Internet of Things, but with limited success. Reportedly Apple is ready to make your home and your devices BFFs.”

Apple “could fix the biggest problem with the Internet of Things/Connected Smart Home — protocol fragmentation” Baldwin writes. “Current systems and devices use one or more of a variety of wireless protocols to talk to each other. Besides Wi-Fi, there’s Z-Wave, ZigBee, Bluetooth and BACnet. Instead of a single network in a connected home, most are wireless mishmash of the above wireless protocols with most devices speaking a language other devices don’t understand. This is where Apple could come in and fix a broken system. It’s done it before. In 1998, Apple introduced the iMac with a USB port. The USB protocol had been available since 1995, yet PC makers were unable to get customers excited about the interface. Apple forced its customers to accept the new I/O and an industry followed.”

“Apple could do the same with the Internet of Things. Selecting a single protocol would force many of the current players in the space to align themselves with that protocol much like third parties started building USB peripherals in the late 1990s,” Baldwin writes. “Build it into the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Macs. Build a single app that supports all the devices… All that Apple clout could push the Internet of Things beyond the early adopters and into the homes of millions of iPhone and iPad users. Everyone wins. Apple gets a useful feature in its new devices first, and Samsung and other Android and third-party hardware manufacturers finally have a firm protocol to follow to be part of the Internet of Things party.”

Baldwin writes, “Unless Apple decides to keep it all to itself. Which would be a bad idea for everyone.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple readying new software platform for the ‘Smart Home’ to be unveiled at WWDC sources say – May 26, 2014
Wall to wall Apple: How iOS could make its way into your home – March 27, 2014
Apple granted home automation patent featuring intelligent user tracking – November 5, 2013
Analyst: Apple iWatch actually a home automation play, not a smartphone companion – October 10, 2013

5 Comments

    1. I wouldn’t use the term “broken” to describe existing home automation systems. Some home automation systems out there have comprehensive automation and control capabilities. The systems not only look good on paper but they work as advertised.

      Having said that, they lack easy connectivity outside their “walled garden” (where have we heard that phrase before), they’re expensive, and their interfaces range from somewhat usable to abysmal.

      Apple has the capability of addressing all 3 issues if they choose to do so.

  1. What I would like is to not have to pay for my cellular monitoring for my security system. I have that because if WiFi is down then it uses cellular. If I already have a Verizon home connect, why do I have to pay for an additional service? If there is a way around this that I don’t know I would surely like to know.
    Also, I have one app to open my garage doors, one for my thermostat and one for lights. Doesn’t really make sense but it’s what I have for being an early adopter I guess.
    I hope Apple can help.

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