The smart home market is heating up, with news Tuesday that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is preparing to enter the world of home automation with software that lets users control residential lighting, appliances and security systems via their iPhones. Reports say Apple will debut the software Monday at the much-anticipated Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Apple aims to collaborate with other companies to produce products specifically created for the popular phone’s "smart home" capabilities, though each will undergo a number of privacy stipulations and quality tests, the Financial Times said Tuesday.
No details were given on exactly how the iPhone will interact with the home systems, but the Financial Times report said the iPhone may be able to perform a number of tasks, such as the ability to automatically turn on lights in a room when a resident with a paired iPhone enters.
True to form, Apple is entering the market after its competitors.
Rival Samsung last month launched a smart home service that gives users the ability to control and manage their home devices through a single app by connecting electronic products like smartphones, TVs, digital cameras, refrigerators and washing machines through an integrated server. The service even lets you monitor the temperature of your washing machine cycle and adjust the coldness of your fridge.
Google-owned smart thermostat maker Nest may be acquiring Dropcam, a company that makes cameras that let users stream footage to a mobile device or car, as part of a larger plan to enter the home security space.
The Goji smart lock allows smart home fans on a budget to secure their houses from remote locations using their smartphones. Founder Gabriel Bestard launched the lock last year, which -- for less than $300 -- gives users the ability to view and allow guests in to their home from any location in the world.
But they're all years behind Rockleigh, New Jersey-based Crestron Electronics, which has been in the home automation and audio/video control business since 1968. Consumers can obtain a home automation system through Crestron that allows them to close blinds, turn off lights, adjust temperatures and power off televisions with the single click of a button. No smartphone necessary.