The smart home: automated heating and cooling, electric blinds, lights, lamps, door locks, garage openers, alarms, the list goes on. The biggest name of them all is about to unleash a deluge of smart home connected devices in March 2018: Apple.
Apple's HomeKit platform, in incubation for years before being handed over to developers in 2016, is now marching toward a big consumer release. With the HomePod smart speaker being released in March 2018, Apple has the perfect hub to connect all its smart devices to one central location.
Apple was previously going to make the Apple TV the centre of the HomeKit universe, as it was already in many homes, already connected to the internet, and already in the living room. Most routers are usually hugging the phone line, somewhere in the kitchen.
Apple needed a central internet-connected location for its smart hub, and the HomePod speaker is likely to make its way in to the lounge, the den, or the corner of the office - a more or less ideal location from which to control your smart home.
Until now, HomeKit has been a developer software maker's shortcut to connect all manner of gadgets to Apple's scripting language and Apple's ecosystem. Buoyed by the ability to control any certified gadget from the familiar screen of your iPhone or iPad makes HOmeKit appealing to both developers and consumers.
Rather than having a disparate landscape of various technologies, protocols, languages, and device systems, brought in to the world by manufacturers such as GE, LG, Philips, Hoover, Electrolux, Panasonic, Whirlpool, Zigbee, and others, and then having to somehow get them to talk to each other, Apple proposed a novel idea: "Use Apple's language, take advantage of our connections to iPhones and iPads, and, oh, by the way, pay us a royalty for our help".
Next, developers chose been Google Nest-based systems and Apple's HomeKit based systems. Some manage to work with both.
Working with Apple's system obviously gives developers and consumers the ability to use their iPhone or iPad, or voice, to issue commands to control smart home objects.
Those objects could be lights, lamps, thermostats, door locks, garage openers, electric blinds, the washing machine and dryer, dishwasher, and interact with the shopping list on the fridge.
When the HomePod smart speaker is released in March 2018, it will no doubt form the central hub for the HomeKit automation system.
If you need any more proof that the HomePod speaker will be involved, take a look at the HomeKit page on Apple's website: there's an iPhone, an iPad, and a HomePod - Front and centre.
Alongside the announcement of the HomePod, expect a "one more thing" announcement... all manner of HomeKit smart home devices, and a better version of Siri, and perhaps a "just one more thing": a pair of new Beats wireless headphones.
Maybe there will be a chip in your headphones, that changes the lights and settings around you, as you walk from room to room.
Until next time,
XYZ Media Group