June 26, 2014
Apple’s recently announced HomeKit will allow third-party hardware products for the home to integrate with Apple devices. The company may develop their own home products too, according to 9to5Mac. Sources won’t specify which type of home devices Apple is interested in developing. However, they did say discussions have moved “beyond the exploratory phase.” The report notes "Apple believes the home to be an incredibly important and lucrative potential market and that the devices will see 'mainstream' usage." New products could include advanced speaker systems or control panels for homes. Additionally, it’s possible that Apple’s recent acquisition of Beats Electronics could play a role here. Apple is unlikely to develop products that would compete with Google’s Nest. The “Cupertino-company feels it can build products that can gain usage wider than that of thermostats and smoke detectors,” according to 9to5Mac. This isn’t the first time Apple has dabbled in the home products market. In addition to the Apple TV, Cupertino once produced an iPod Hi-Fi stereo system. It was considered a flop due to high pricing and competition. Personally, I hope Apple becomes a player in home audio. Although, I admit that could prove difficult, given the popularity of SONOS systems, which already integrate with Apple devices. I'm also hoping to see the day when Apple unveils an "iTV." First announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) earlier this month, HomeKit is designed for the growing smart home market and devices like locks, lights, cameras, doors, thermostats, plugs, and switches. It allows secure pairing from your iOS device, which makes it much easier than dealing with a number of third-party apps. See also: Honeywell's Lyric Smart Thermostat Uses Apple's HomeKit, To Compete With Nest.