This month Apple announced some specifics about their smarthome project, at the WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) 2014 held in San Francisco. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, announced a future new Home feature for iPhones, which will help control and coordinate smart appliances, locks and lights around the user’s house. When this project will come to fruition, movies like Smart House (1999) will suddenly seem quite possible, and maybe only a step or two away, right? All joking aside, this is great news for all of us passionate about technology and advanced gadgets. And after the recent wave of discontent regarding all those music downloading apps disappearing from the App Store, the world needed some good news from Apple right about now. We’d researched all the rumors floating around about the newly announced project, Apple’s Smarthome, and we’re bringing you all the exciting details.
For start, some of you may already be familiar with certain household electronic products that already qualify as “smart” technology. Things like the Philips Hue light bulbs or Honeywell’s thermostats or Withing’s alarm clocks have all been enjoyed by gadget aficionados and all of them were, to some extent, little steps towards the smart house of the future. Well, the essential quality announced for Apple’s Smarthome project is that it will be able to securely connect to all of these third party products and control them. The connection key will be unique to the user and all access will be made through the HomeKit app.
“We’ve come up with the HomeKit to allow secure pairing so that only your iPhone can unlock your garage door”. (Craig Federighi, on stage at the WWDC 2014, pictured above).
Each of the connected devices controlled by Apple’s Smarthome will be not only paired securely to the system, but also grouped or linked to specific predefined scenes or scenarios. You will be able to activate these so-called scenes or scenarios for specific events, like getting home from work or leaving the house in the morning. The system’s name is Siri integration, and thanks to it, the user of Apple’s Smarthome will be able to just say something into their iPhone, like “Get ready for bed, Siri”, and the system will load that scenario by dimming the lights, locking the garage door and the doors and so on. In the morning, or when expecting guests, the same: just issuing a vocal command to the iPhone will load a scenario through which Siri will prepare the house for the event named.
The potential of Apple’s Smarthome project seems huge at this stage, and it will probably look even better as time passes and the day of its official release dawns closer. There’s no rumor yet about when exactly that might take place, but we’re pretty confident that Apple wouldn’t have announced it yet if we were to wait too long from now on. The company even announced its partners for this project, the other brands and companies which will also be a part of Apple’s Smarthome developer platform. These contributors will be mainly corporations which already specialize in creating smart home appliances, including names like Texas Instruments, Phillips, Haier, Netamo, Honeywell, Marvel, Osram, Withings and Broadcom.
With this team behind it and its ambitious concept, the smarthome looks like it’s really going to be a milestone in software developing history. The company also said, within their presentation at the WWDC 2014, that it hopes the project will unify the devices around the house into a true internet of things, running together under the same protocol, as opposed to the current state of things where each device runs under the separate proprietary protocol of its manufacturer. What do you think of Apple’s Smarthome project? We’d love to hear from you and learn if you’re excited about it.