Apple Planning ‘Smart Home’ System Debut at WWDC

Apple is planning to introduce a smart home concept at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference.

The new "software platform," which will be unveiled at WWDC on June 2, will be built into the iOS devices. Photo: feedas TNA/Flickr

The new “software platform,” which will be unveiled at WWDC on June 2, will be built into the iOS devices. Photo: feedas TNA/Flickr

The Cupertino-based tech giant has always been largely involved in smartphones, tablets and PCs, but according to The Financial Times report, Apple is about to enter the world of smart home technology to rival Google and Samsung.

Apple plans to introduce its own system that lets users control their lights, appliances and security systems with not only their iPhone and iPad, but also the technology will also incorporate with Apple TV, while current home automation systems are rather overpriced and come with proprietary controllers and software.

The report states that the Apple’s smart home system will be similar to the company’s existing “Made for iPhone” label, given to compatible headphones, speakers and other accessories, but with a new brand and logo.

Apple may also provide additional checks and assurances that certified products are not vulnerable to hackers. The system will be unveiled at WWDC in San Francisco next month.

Right now, the company is apparently in talks with a select group of other device makers whose smart home products will be certified to work with its forthcoming new system and then be sold in its retail stores, says The Financial Times.

The alleged introduction is viewed as a “big play” to challenge device giant Samsung and Google. In February Google purchased the Palo Alto-based Nest Labs company for $3.2 billion, maker of the Learning Thermostat and the Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector. The startup was founded by former Apple employees Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers.

Apple believes that privacy will set its system apart from Google, as Internet corporation relies on targeted advertising as its main source of income.

Google regulatory filing last week states that it was preparing for a “multi-device future” where “we and other companies could be serving ads and other content on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches”.

Mashable informs that Apple could not be reached for comment. The company signaled its interest in the category in a June 2012 patent filling for a technology that connects lighting systems, security systems, garage-door openers, music controllers, climate controllers or kitchen appliances with mobile devices.

The move is a step in the right direction, as a report from Business Insider shows the Internet of Things will account for 9 billion products by 2018. This can help Apple get a head-start before the market is flooded with further entries.

Actually, the company has already made inroads with the automobile sector. Last year at its Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple revealed intentions to better integrate iOS into car dashboard screens. Late last year debuted its iBeacon location-sensing technology, which is used for indoor navigation, automatic ticketing, and location-relevant promotions.

The advantages of a smart home system is that it can use other information to control the devices in your home. The Belkin WeMo system lets you program your lights to come on and go off depending on the sunrise and sunset of your system.

Other smart lighting systems let people program rules for their operation, such as flash the lights in the living room maroon if Queensland win the first State of Origin game this Wednesday night.

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