Apple May Move into Home Automation at WWDC

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When Apple introduced the Apple TV the company was hoping to take over our livingroom, and now it looks like that could expand to include our entire home. A new report claims Apple is planning on using its annual Worldwide Developer Conference keynote presentation next week to announce plans to turn our iPhones into the core of its own home automation system.

Apple may introduce its own home automation platform next weekApple may introduce its own home automation platform next week

Sources speaking with the Financial Times said Apple will unveil its plans on June 2 in front of developers and the media. Apple will introduce a new platform for controlling in-home devices such as lights, appliances, and security systems that will also tie in to a new version of Apple TV to be introduced later this year.

Apple's home automation system will be able to handle tasks like turning on the lights when users get home through some form of wireless communication. Considering Apple's push into its own iBeacons technology, that's the most likely system for Apple to use, although some analysts are still expecting the company to finally bring NFC technology to its handheld devices.

The company has reportedly been talking with device makers to incorporate its home automation technology into their products. Those manufacturers will most likely have to go through a certification process similar to its "Made for iPhone" program to ensure compatibility and privacy.

Worldwide Developer Conference is Apple's annual event in San Francisco where third-party developers get a chance to interact with the company's own engineers and learn some about Apple's own roadmap.

Apple isn't commenting on what it may or may not have planned for next week's event. What we do know is that Apple typically shows off features from the upcoming versions of OS X and iOS, and considering developers will need lead time to prepare for any home automation functions the operating systems may include, the event is even more appropriate for the announcement.

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Apple branded home automation sounds pretty enticing because that means you'd be able to buy the hardware you want -- whether that's smart lightbulbs, appliances, or thermostats -- and control everything through a single device.

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Lee Dronick

Give me a garage door opener that I can activate from my iPhone. I am so tired of buttons that won’t activate the cheap membrane switches in OEM remotes. Yeah, I know that would probably require a new receiver on the controller, but if that is what it takes then fine by me.


Hmm. Well, Nest has given up the market to Google…I guess that leaves it open to Apple to pick up.



You can already purchase a Garage Door Opener with internet access.
Then obtain free app from the Manufacturer to open and close it remotely, essentially from anywhere—let the repairman in, etc..
However, the catch is that you have to pay for an annual subscription service to get the IN access.  Why that cost is involved I don’t understand?  Think it’s about $30/year. But you can look up the details online at several Manufacturers. 
Seems to me that the “service” should be free or one-time small payment.

Since ][e

Mac OS X users have long had an outstanding home automation product called Indigo from Perceptive Automation in Texas.  Their complementary product for iOS is Indigo Touch. I use both with Insteon and Z-Wave devices and sensors to reliably control many electrical and RF functions in my home, and can check in via WiFi anywhere to view status and control almost everything. Indigo even texts me if motion is detected when it shouldn’t be. With Indigo, you can program and control lights, appliances, thermostats, garage doors, irrigation systems, whole house iTunes audio and much more. Unless Apple is planning to buy Indigo and incorporate all that intelligence into Apple branded products, I will sit this one out and just wait for my new iPhone 6.

Lee Dronick

I would like to have something that is BlueTooth or perhaps using my WiFi network.

Yeah, paying an annual fee to use the service? My HUE lights can be controlled via the internet for free.

Lee Dronick

There are some garage door opener apps. This one works with Sears openers, I have a Chamberlan model.

Lee Dronick

There are some garage door opener apps. This one works with Sears openers, I have a Chamberlan model.

Lee Dronick

Sorry about the double post, I don’t know how that happened. Anyway, here is a system that may soon meet my needs. A $50 receiver and a free app that runs over BlueTooth. Currently it is only for Android, but they say an iOS app is on the way.

I am interested in something like this for two reasons.

1. My remote is flaky. Sometimes it works on the first press, sometimes it takes multiple presses. A replacement one doesn’t look any more robust than this one.

Over the last few weekend here in San Diego there has been a spate of auto break-ins and all they took were garage door opener controls. There were three break-ins on my block, they stopped two doors down from me.

Yeah, 1st World problems.

Nate Ramos

One way to create a smart switch that opens as you approach an area or can be opened via wi-fi is using a belkin smart switch or a z-wave switch.  Assuming you can flip a switch from inside the garage to open the garage door, just replace that switch with a belkin or z-wave switch.  Z-wave is cool, relatively inexpensive, but requires a controller (smart things or Revel or an actual remote) and it has a blue light always glowing when the switch isn’t on.

The belkin switches are easier to install, look nicer and work over wi-fi instead of z-wave.  If you use IFTTT, you can program the system to open your garage door when your approach.  Aside from the controller or free app, you’re talking about $50, 10 minutes (if that to install and easy to DIY) and you have a garage door opener that’s controllable via the internet and opens when you approach.

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