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Apple Could Introduce a ‘Smart Home’ Platform at WWDC 2014, Report Says

In an effort to take on rivals Google and Samsung, and make a big play as it enters the world of “Internet of things”, Apple is planning to launch new software for the Smart Home, reports the Financial Times.

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Apple is readying a new software platform that would turn the iPhone into a remote control for lights, security systems and other household appliances, as part of a move into the “internet of things”.

The software will be presented in a week at the highly anticipated Worldwide Developer Conference and will be the Apple solution to set up and control new smart home devices. As an idea, the sources say, the home’s lights may automatically come on when the owner enters the house, as the iPhone wirelessly signals the owner’s arrival, as patented last November.

By stepping into the world of “Internet of things”, Apple is following the example of Google and Samsung, they say, and, of course, partner manufacturers will be required in order for them to do so. Apple has been in talks with a group of device makers whose products will be certified to work with the forthcoming (iHome?) software, which will likely be built into iOS 8. And, of course, Apple is focusing on privacy, the sources say.

The scheme will be similar to Apple’s existing “Made for iPhone” label, given to compatible headphones, speakers and other accessories, but with a new brand and logo. Apple may also provide additional checks and assurances that certified products are not vulnerable to hackers.

The initiative comes as Apple continues to seek new sources of growth: it recently launched CarPlay, transforming the driver’s car into a four-wheeled iOS gadget, and you may recall that last year the company introduced iBeacon, which has lots of potential, part of which is the ability to send messages based on location.

Apple, however, could change its mind at the last minute and emphasize other features of the forthcoming operating system instead.

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca