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 devices 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 center 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 a better name, I’m calling it iControl.
• 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).
I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Apple’s own low-power and low-latency wireless protocol for Home Automation.
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, iMessage, 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).
W 58.6 mm x H 153mm x D 12.6mm
iPhone5 / 5S
W 58.6mm x H 123.8mm x D 7.6mm
For years I have been hoping Apple would enter into Home Automation, and create their own device.
Here is the concept of the Apple iControl remote, from a 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 heartbeat.
Very soon, new blog post:
The Missing piece in Apple’s HomeKit – iControl, part II