As I predicted in 2011 Apple is expected to introduce a new iOS-based SmartHome ecosystem at WWDC, giving its developers new opportunities for innovation. Take a look at this short collection of existing iOS smart home solutions for a hint of how Apple's going to put intelligence inside your home.
Philips Hue, $199.95
These smart lights can be controlled remotely from your Apple device, enabling you to change bulb colour and brightness, or to switch them on automatically at certain times or when people enter the room.
The Kevo door lock is iOS compatible using Bluetooth LE. Pair your device with the lock and all you need to do is touch Kevo to make it "speak" with your iPhone and your door opens up. No keys required.
This iOS-compatible collection of sensors and hubs enables you to control/monitor temperature, locks, lights, electronics using your iPhone. Plug the hub into your router and place sensors where you need them (smart power outlets [ABOVE], movement sensors, controllers for lights, locks, heating systems).
WeMo Crock-Pot, $129.99
Belkin's connected crock-pot won't prepare your ingredients but will let you control the cooking process from your iPhone. You control the pot on iOS or Android using the WeMo app, which lets you turn your cooking on, off, change temperature or time settings and more. Belkin offers a range of intelligent home devices.
SkyBell WiFi Doorbell, $199
This intelligent doorbell lets you and your family see who is at the door even when there's nobody home! Features include a video camera, motion sensor, microphone and a speaker; so you can see and speak with visitors from anywhere in the world you happen to be. When someone calls round your app will let you know. (Oh, and the motion sensor alerts you if there's someone hovering at your door -- they don't need to ring the bell.)
Kolibree Toothbrush, $99
I mentioned this last week, but it shows how connected intelligence can improve ordinary things. The toothbrush monitors your brushing habits and makes recommendations to help you improve your dental hygiene. Given the cost of dentistry, this system could keep your ivories shiny and save you cash.
Netatmo Thermostat, c.$241
Netatmo offers a range of iOS-compatible solutions, including Weather Station, and its Philippe Starck-designed Thermostat. This works with most existing systems and lets you monitor and control your heating from your phone -- there's more to life than Nest.
Canary links up to your WiFi system and watches what happens around your home in order to learn what usually happens. Eventually it will know when you normally leave or return so it knows how things should be. It monitors everything: activity, noise, air quality, temperature and humidity. When it sees something wrong it sends you an HD video recording (and can send live video). You can see what's happening at home from your iPhone.
One more thing…Foodini, c.$1,400
Foodini is a 3D printer that literally prints your food, though you do have to prepare the ingredients first. It's not especially difficult as this kind of technology evolves to imagine food replicators similar to this eventually being controlled remotely by your iPhone.
I hope you've enjoyed this short collection. It's only the beginning and it seems Apple's about to boost innovation in the sector. One day you'll say: "Siri, cook my lunch".
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