I was tidying up my Pinboard bookmarks today when I came across an article from Cult of Mac’s Mike Elgan, dated October 12, 2013, and titled “Why Apple Will Enter the Home Automation Market”:
Because both crowdfunded and big-brand smartphone-controlled home automation solutions favor iPhone, the Apple will have an ecosystem of hardware, software and service makers in place when it enters the market. Those iPhone-supporting customers will already have a passionate user base of consumers who have already invested in thermostats, LED light bulbs and other physical hardware. The existence of this market will cause new entrants to support Apple’s solutions because that’s where the home automation big spenders will have already congregated.
Good so far. He obliquely and very nearly called HomeKit well before it was launched at WWDC this year. But, then:
I believe the platform for Apple’s Home Automation server will be the Apple TV product everybody’s been predicting for years.
This system is likely to offer an App Store and development platform for existing home automation companies to create products for. And the consumer will probably control it with an iPhone or iPad while seeing the whole system on the TV.
Maybe there is a forthcoming Apple TV that will show the entire network at a glance. But HomeKit doesn’t require any such central server and, so far, leans towards the iPhone as its primary controller. Perhaps it won’t remain that way, though — my favourite analyst Brian “Nostradumbass” White thinks that a presumed “iWatch” device will control the home. Stack that with Mark Gurman’s speculation on how iOS 8 includes the tech required for a wearable product and — just maybe — Brian White and Mike Elgan will see their predictions vindicated.