If Apple releases its own smart home hardware, think connected speakers and TVs

“It’s always been a question of when — and not if — in assessing Apple’s plans for the connected home, although a better question is probably ‘how,'” Stacey Higginbotham writes for GigaOM. “As in, how will Apple attempt to bring its brand of design and usability to the fragmented market for app-controlled home products, which ranges from speakers to thermostats?”

“We may be getting closer to an answer. Apple has assembled a team to work on some kind of connected home hardware, according to an article in 9to5 Mac,” Higginbotham writes. “While the source quoted said Apple is unlikely to target less mainstream devices like thermostats or smoke detectors (a la Nest) speakers or home control panels are a possibility.”

“The idea of Apple building control panels strikes me as odd since the control panels in many smart homes today — either those that are DIY or professional installed — rely on iPads, either freestanding or embedded into walls,” Higginbotham writes. “Apple already has a control panel.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Apple working on ‘mainstream’ smart home hardware, sources say – June 26, 2014


  1. I hope they do. Because, if they do, it will be done right. It will not matter weather you have your iPhone, iPod, iPhone or Mac with you, you will be able to control it all. I do believe it’s coming, but only when Apple gets it to work the way it should. Perfection takes patience. And as we know, Apple has patience.

  2. AirPort Extreme are the ideal device to become a hub for a SmartHome, using the airport Express a variation (let’s call it Home Module) will be used to both extend the network and also allow connecting none network devices to a home using both wired and non-wifi wireless protocols).

    1. Man, I cannot agree with you more. Imagine Surround Sound speakers, all wireless, through airplay! I know Sonos gets us close, but their proprietary to their music player, and their airplay functionality is not quite doing what their original software was intended to do. I am very tempted to jump to their products though, i’ve just been holding out.

      1. Sonos is really great stuff. I wouldn’t mind seeing Apple buying Sonos, or at least opening up licensing to iTunes Radio for Sonos, but I really don’t see Apple competing with Sonos. Minus the iTunes Radio licensing, it’s already a brilliant solution that’s well integrated to the rest of Apple’s ecosystem.

  3. The media types who report on this stuff are basically tech geeks. They want things like “control panels” to micro-manage their “automated” home, so they can giggle with delight by turning off the lights using the Internet. And most companies that supply such products oblige by putting their “automation” front and center, and allow the geeks limitless ways to “manually” set things up. It’s the “joy” of building a PC running Linux, expanded to the home. That’s the current state of this market… Designed by geeks for geeks.

    Apple’s approach will be fundamentally different. Apple’s “smart home” will NOT call attention to itself, by design. It will be integrated into the iPhone, iPad, and Mac user experience, like iCloud.

    For example, proximity of an iPhone (with use of Touch ID) can open the front door. But before that, the user can say to Siri, “I’m headed home.” By using location tracking, the heat or AC comes on (as needed) when the owner is 10 minutes away. It will be a “set it and forget it” user experience, not the “in your face” (to show how cool it is) experience. And no screen on the fridge door showing ads…

    In other words, Apple’s smart home will another part of the ecosystem (like the iTunes Store, App Store, Siri, iCloud, etc.) that helps to sell more iPhones, iPads, and Macs (as well as those “new things”), and maintain the most fiercely loyal customers in the world. It will serve to further distinguish Apple from the competition.

    1. Actually I think the linux-geek stuff you’re talking about started to transition out a couple of years ago.

      What we’re seeing today on the market is more consumer-focused and installable. My house is going through this now. We have door locks that open automatically by touch if our iPhone is in our pocket (or girlfriend’s purse). Our front gate, 3 garage doors, all controllable by iPhone. Alarm system, security cameras… again iPhone. Whole house audio with each room having the ability to listen to different sources, all iPhone controllable. Colored lighting (Hue), landscape lighting, home theater lighting effects… all iPhone controlled. Irrigation, individual room heating and air, all iPhone controllable.

      Even things that aren’t smart devices yet, have already had smart routines developed for them… For example, we stock our refrigerator by using our iPhone camera, and many of our meals our delivered via iPhone app. Smart fridges won’t have to show ads, just facilitate purchases as their revenue model.

      What’s making this possible is the Internet of Things which is the result of extremely cheap and efficient processors and WiFi/Bluetooth components.

      The problem with all of this is the separate app scenario as well as lack of integration and common frameworks. That’s exactly what HomeKit is designed to resolve.

      The point is, I don’t see Apple making all of this hardware, but instead bringing it all together.

  4. Sounds like a plan exposing our homes to Internet hacker abuse. I’m a little skeptical but only Apple’s approach would probably have any real security. Google? Not a chance in THIS house. Fandroid fools can have it.

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