How smart is your smart home? Well, apparently not smart enough, and Apple wants to make smart home devices even smarter and making them configure themselves.
Apple made its entry into the smart home market with the software, not hardware. Its HomeKit API that was released with iOS 8 has definitely made things easier to set up and control smart home devices, becoming the de-facto standard in the iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS realm. However, Apple still doesn’t think that current-generation smart home products are smart enough.
Usually, users still have to fiddle with options and the whole experience is still not completely seamless, especially when they are setting up new devices. A new patent filed by Apple is playing with the idea to make smart home products configure themselves. The company mentions ways of automatically recognizing objects in the home such as sofa, chairs, TV, tables, and other things, and even people.
Why do smart home devices need to recognize those things? Well, once they have been determined, a virtual floor plan is created, Apple’s system can then make intelligent guesses as to what each new smart product does and configure it accordingly. For example, if you install a smart light switch in the bedroom, the system will automatically configure it to control lights in that room. It would just ask for permission to do so.
Apple’s vision for a smarter smart home is pretty novel and to convert this patent into reality would require collaboration with a lot of brands and parties.
Plus, it would require a user to have products that are compatible with the Cupertino-based tech giant’s standards and APIs. What if they have a product that’s not compatible? That’s a different problem altogether.
We think that the patent is pretty far-fetched, and it would take years for something like this to happen, if it happens at all.[Source: USPTO]