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The Missing piece in Apple’s HomeKit – iControl

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At Apple’s recent Worldwide Developers Conference HomeKit, a suite of tools for controlling devices such as lights, locks, garage doors, alarms, thermostats and more using iOS device was announced.

In my opinion, current iOS devices (iPhone & iPad), are not well suited for Apples HomeKit & Home Automation for a number of key reasons:

• The lack of ZigBee, Z-Wave, IR prevents compatibility with hundreds of existing Home Automation devices.
• Many members of a household still do not own their iOS device (small children, grandparents, ……).
• Limited battery life for Home Automation.

A crucial hardware piece that is missing in the Apple Home Automation ecosystem, is a device / hub that would be in the centre of the living room, to control “Smart Home”.
The simplest way to describe this gizmo is that it is a cross between a universal remote control and an iPod Touch with lots of connectivity options and sensors built into it.

And for the lack of the better name, I’m calling it iControl.

 

iControl - Missing piece in Apple’s HomeKit

iControl – Missing piece in Apple’s HomeKit

 Features:

• metal body
• 4” touch screen
• Touch ID
• connectivity – Bluetooth BLE, WiFi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, IR infrared
• front & back camera
• Siri, AirPlay, AirPlay Mirroring. Facetime, VoIP phone….
• significantly larger battery (possible solar or wireless charging)
•Built in sensors to assist Smart devices (motion, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, light etc).

 

Lots of connectivity options

Lots of connectivity options

 

I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Apple’s own low-power and low-latency wireless protocol for Home Automation.

 

While you were away…

While you were away…

What does it do:

• connects & controls Smart devices such as lights, locks, garage doors, alarms, thermostats and more
• connects & controls other Apple products & services – iTunes, iCloud, Mac, iPhone, AppleTV,
• controls Home theatre, TV, receivers, stereos…
• communication – email, SMS, iMassage, Facetime, audio Facetime, VoIP phone.
• built in different sensors assist “Smart Home” devices, also devices less expensive to make

(if iControl has motion, temperature, humidity sensor …. Thermostat doesn’t need them – less expensive to make).

 

iControl as VoIP Phone - Bria App

iControl as VoIP Phone – Bria App

 

iControl connects to iTunes

iControl connects to iTunes

Dimensions:

iControl
W 58.6 mm x H 153mm x D 12.6mm
iPhone5 / 5S
W 58.6mm x H 123.8mm x D 7.6mm

 

iControl & iPhone5

iControl & iPhone5

 

Back side

Back side

 

For years I have been hoping Apple would enter in to Home Automation, and create their own device.

 

Old Concept

Old Concept

 

Here is the concept of Apple iControl remote, from few years ago, I have made but never completed.
Notice iPod style scroll wheel in my old 3d concept

This is the product that I would buy in a heart beat.

 

“Smart House”

“Smart Home”

 

 

Very soon, new blog post:
The Missing piece in Apple’s HomeKit – iControl, part II

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Peter Zigich

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