Apple’s foray into home automation might not be as exciting as we’ve been lead to believe, at least not at first. According to sources speaking with GigaOm, the company’s home automation platform will simply give developers the opportunity to create Made for iPhone devices. That was to be expected, but the implementation will allegedly be fairly limited in the early going, with only a few initial partners to kick off the new initiative. Once companies do create products compatible with Apple’s new project, they’ll connect through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and operate through standalone apps.
Apple’s move into the smart home isn’t actually the grand experience I had hoped for. Instead, it is a much simpler program that will basically certify a bunch of connected devices on the market or set to be launched as products that are certified under the Made for iPhone label. My sources, who spoke only on background because of their involvement or knowledge of the program, explain that the smart home effort will have a heavy focus on connecting devices easily via Wi-Fi and will likely offer voice control via Bluetooth as well. However, it won’t have some sort of software-based automation layer controlled by Apple that supersedes the original apps. In some ways, that’s a shame. I was really hoping Apple would show the industry how to get automation and programming right, but instead this is more of an effort to deal with the trouble of fragmentation in the smart home. Still, this is a good thing.