Apple to debut smart home system at WWDC
Apple is to reveal a “Connected Home” software platform at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) next week, according to the Financial Times.
The platform will let iPhones be used as remote controls for connected devices, as part of a push into the internet of things market, the FT reported, citing unnamed sources.
The platform may integrate with an upgraded version of its Apple TV digital media player, which would act as the home base for the system.
The rumour is lent credence by a patent filing the company made in late 2013 which outlined a system where “one or more relay servers can access first data received from one or more first devices (eg a phone, tablet computer, vehicle tracking device, or badge reader)… [then] transmit second signals including second data to one or more second devices (e.g., lighting systems, security systems, garage-door openers, music controllers, climate controllers, or kitchen appliances)”.
If true, the platform would see Apple once again go head-to-head with Google, which acquired smart home start-up Nest in January, and Samsung, which recently unveiled its Smart Home range of connected white goods and TVs, which can be controlled by smartphones and watches.
Reports of Apple’s Connected Home are the latest in a line of rumours surrounding what will be revealed at WWDC. The most persistent of these are the launch of iOS 8, a new version of Apple TV, and an update to its OS X desktop operating system.
It has also been rumoured the company may unveil the iPhone 6, however this is less likely as WWDC has traditionally been a software-focused event.