According to sources quoted by the Financial Times, Apple may be planning to reveal a smart home software platform at next week’s World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
The smart system would allow the user to control their home’s lights, electrical appliances like Apple TV, and alarms through their iPhone with the functions built into the phone itself, instead of using separate apps. The announcement could be Apple’s big play against Google for the Internet of Things and the smart, connected home.
FT’s report goes on to say that Apple will allow hardware manufacturers and third-party developers to develop smart products for the platform. There are many ways that this technology could work such as controlling smart lights and other smart appliances through your paired iPhone.
Some functions may be automated as well like when someone is approaching their front door, the software will detect the iPhone and turn on the lights for them (possibly using Near Field Communication or Apple’s proprietary iBeacon technology).
Privacy and advertising is, once again, an issue that will be raised with any new smart system and reports suggests that Apple will use this to promote its connected home platform as the company makes its most if its profits from hardware sales, not advertising, unlike Google.
Apple already sells a number of connected home devices in its store including Philips Hue Connected Light Bulbs, thermometers, and baby monitors, which will possibly be all included in the functions of this supposed new platform. There has been no word yet on whether or not the iBeacon will be functional with the smart home platform.
WWDC, which kicks off on June 2, is believed to be where Apple announces the platform though it remains to be seen if it will be announcing any new hardware with it.