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Report: Apple To Unveil "Smart Home" System

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the ask-the-house dept.

Technology 174

An anonymous reader writes "According to a report Apple will be unveiling a new smart home system at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference. The system will allow users to control security systems, appliances and lighting with their iPhones. A "select number" of device makers will be certified to offer products that work with Apple's upcoming system, according to the report, which didn't name any of the manufacturers."

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no thank you apple (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095289)

and no thank you google

plenty of options exist that are already very mature products no need for a vendor lock in with constantly changing terms. open solutions exist many commercially available and or inter-operable with commercially available stuff

Re:no thank you apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095353)

zwave does this already but with very broad manufacturer support and low barrier to entry for newcomers

Re:no thank you apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47097689)

I've been looking into Zwave and it looks like a mishmash of hardware that all have issues. Dimmers that can't handle dimming CFL or LEDs. Controllers that only work with some magical set of zwave hardware. Pay control systems like Iris that want a monthly fee. Bleah.

What is open, free and I can use to automate my home?

Re:no thank you apple (1)

dolmen.fr (583400) | about 4 months ago | (#47098361)

> Dimmers that can't handle dimming CFL or LEDs.

This is general problem of compatibility of dimmers vs lamps. Nothing Zwave specific.

From someone working in the smart home domain.

Re:no thank you apple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095385)

Yet. "Smart", in this context, means "a system by which others can spy on you". Other devices in this category are smart phones, smart TVs and smart watches.

Re:no thank you apple (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 4 months ago | (#47095467)

um what open solutions? I have yet to see an in home system that wasn't locked down hard and that even if they use open protocols which is rare are still not compatible with each other.

Re:no thank you apple (5, Informative)

melchoir55 (218842) | about 4 months ago | (#47095589)

www.openremote.com

Re:no thank you apple (2)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 4 months ago | (#47096289)

um what open solutions?

I've just plonked down the cash for a Ninja Blocks kit. http://ninjablocks.com/collect... [ninjablocks.com]

It's very simple to use, based around the open Beaglebone SBC and has both free apps and open source development tools.

I'll probably upgrade to the Sphere when it's available too. https://www.kickstarter.com/pr... [kickstarter.com]

Roll Your Own (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47098003)

My home uses the aged, but still very functional, X-10 technology. I designed and built my own operating system agnostic controller that communicated using a serial port. I use it with Linux, but it works just as well with MS Windows, and likely anything else you could throw at it. The only way to have real control is to define your own system and build it yourself, perhaps in a consortium with friends. For the less capable, there are "black boxes" you can wire together to do whatever you want.

Re:no thank you apple (3, Funny)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 months ago | (#47095483)

Who says this wont be built on an open standard?

Re:no thank you apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095605)

Who says this wont be built on an open standard?

Oh God! That was a good one!

We're talking about an Apple product and you ask that question.

Ahahahahahahahahaha!

I shit in my pants over that one!

You're a funny guy! You amuse me!

Thank god you didn't give a real ringer like - "Microsoft will be releasing Windows XP code on GitHub."

That'd give me a heart attack laughing so hard!!

Re:no thank you apple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095693)

Apple: PNG, AIFF, AAC, MP4.
Microsoft: BMP, WAV, WMA, WMV.

You were saying?

Re:no thank you apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095787)

I'm not sure what you're trying to say there.

Re:no thank you apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47096905)

I'm not sure what you're trying to say there.

AC is attempting to create a false dichotomy, suggesting that the presence of a company with practices that locked in customers more aggressively than Apple, should absolve Apple from criticism.

HTH...

Re:no thank you apple (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47096211)

PNG: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_Network_Graphics#PNG_Working_Group A bunch of dudes working on an image format, no companies were specifically involved in the creation of such image. PNG is supported on Windows and Android. No idea why you listed it here...

AIFF: Based off of Electronic Arts' IFF format on the Amiga. There's only one company that really uses it - the one who made it. Wiki page doesn't mention if it's open or not.

MP4 / AAC: Requires licensing / payment for playback (codecs). (You listing this separately means you truly don't understand what AAC is, or is trying to make it look better)

BMP: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMP_file_format Made by MS under the Open Source License (OSP). Supported by OS/2 and Windows.
WAV: Created by MS and IBM http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/formats/fdd/fdd000001.shtml No licensing required

WMA/WMV: Requires licensing / payment for playback.

Microsoft seems better in your list.

Re:no thank you apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47097769)

AIFF is a closed open format. The overall structure of an IFF is standardized, but it consists of binary segments whose internal structure may or may not be known. It's an outgrowth of Apple's Macintosh resource architecture, and was partly developed with Apple input, but only the Amiga adopted it fully.

Re:no thank you apple (2)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 4 months ago | (#47095703)

It's intriguing, I'll admit.

Apple used to actually be okay with open standards. In the last several years, they've sort-of given up or at least only paid lip service. Remember how Apple was going to open up FaceTime? Lots of people are still waiting for that one.

On the other hand, Apple loves open standards when they're behind. In this case, they're arguably behind, so I could see them adopting an open standard.

Personally, I think the whole report is rubbish.

Re:no thank you apple (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 4 months ago | (#47095811)

They'll just force vendors to use specific connectors.
Once everyone has all the accessories they need, they'll change the connector.

Re:no thank you apple (5, Informative)

thechink (182419) | about 4 months ago | (#47096111)

Remember how Apple was going to open up FaceTime? Lots of people are still waiting for that one.

Opening FaceTime didn't happened because if a lawsuit. They were sued by VirnetX and Apple lost.

http://www.imore.com/ask-imore-wheres-facetime-android

Re:no thank you apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47096223)

You're telling me that the billions of dollars that they're raking in couldn't buy the whole company or license it? Google didn't seem to have a problem doing this with VP8. It's pocket-change to these companies.

Re:no thank you apple (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 4 months ago | (#47096423)

Remember how Apple was going to open up FaceTime? Lots of people are still waiting for that one.

Opening FaceTime didn't happened because if a lawsuit. They were sued by VirnetX and Apple lost.

http://www.imore.com/ask-imore-wheres-facetime-android

Seems convenient. Almost too convenient.

Given how much cash Apple has and how much legal clout they have, why didn't they just buy the company out or if they wouldn't sell, sue them into oblivion until they did. Given the lopsided Apple v Samsung, dealing with a tiny upstart company is more than within their power.

So if Apple is so committed to being open, why haven't they acquired the patents and opened them?

Occams razor says they dont want to.

Re:no thank you apple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47096575)

Considering that you think that Apple buying a company or suing them into a oblivion would be the right thing to do in this case, Occam's Razor says your anti-Apple bias makes you view things in whatever twisted way necessary to support it.

Re:no thank you apple (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 4 months ago | (#47096811)

So if Apple is so committed to being open, why haven't they acquired the patents and opened them?

There is no such thing as "opening patents" unless of course you mean licensing them for free, but that isn't necessary to release the facetime protocol specification anyway.

Re:no thank you apple (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#47095655)

Apple's track record? Apple is actually pretty agnostic about open standards, they don't seem to have a pathological case of NIH syndrome or anything; but with two important caveats:

1. If the existing standard doesn't suit them for whatever reason, their implementation will be a variant of that standard and their only concern will be interoperability will first party and (to a slightly lesser extent) officially-blessed third party stuff. They won't reinvent the wheel just for kicks; but if they decide that their needs are somewhat different, their implementation will be as well, and it's just too bad if that's an issue. (It's not unlike the degree to which Microsoft 'based' Active Directory and Domains on, LDAP and Kerberos.)

2. Crypto: Unlike the old days, when you could only be proprietary by keeping your obfuscated binary protocol or your weirdo connector one step ahead of the reverse engineers, now you can have it all in the open and still nearly useless unless it's signed and blessed. Apple's "Facetime", for instance, is based on a lovely, standards-tastic, collection of standards; but important parts of setting up a connection involve mutual certificate verification between an Apple server and an Apple device, so that's effectively irrelevant to 3rd parties.

Re:no thank you apple (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 4 months ago | (#47095719)

Who says this wont be built on an open standard?

Given their track record it's highly unlikely. Apple is open when they take existing open technologies and build on them:
Webkit (KHTML), CUPS, BSD, Mach, etc...

But they don't like interoperability with non-Apple devices so they lock those elements down:
AppleTalk, Airplay, Airdrop, Facetime, Lightning connector, etc...

Re:no thank you apple (1)

msauve (701917) | about 4 months ago | (#47096369)

Apple learned well from Microsoft's "embrace, extend, extinguish" strategy.

Who needs a security system which will only close the gates to the walled garden?

BTW, Appletalk was every bit as open as NETBEUI/SMB/IPX/DECnet/XNS/SNA. It's not a good example.

Re:no thank you apple (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 4 months ago | (#47096399)

Apple learned well from Microsoft's "embrace, extend, extinguish" strategy.

How so? While they have embraced those open technologies they haven't added proprietary extensions and they haven't extinguished them, they still exist and are still open.

Re:no thank you apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47096181)

Who says this wont be built on an open standard?

Because it's Apple, they don't believe in open anything. This is yet another great "innovation" by Apple, watch as their iLawyers begin to attack those already producing home automation products.

Re:no thank you apple (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 months ago | (#47096195)

Which is of course totally untrue ( several examples from other actually intelligent responses ). But thanks for playing anyway, and no i dont give out 'participation awards'

Re:no thank you apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47096209)

Thank you for keeping the sig to remind us you're a douchebag with no serious opinions.

Re:no thank you apple (1)

Camembert (2891457) | about 4 months ago | (#47097869)

I can see it becoming successful, like Airplay which is adopted widely, and Carplay also gets lots of interest.
For me, I am imagine that i wear the iwatch while sitting in the sofa and with a touch on its display I can quickly dim the lights. Or, when I am about to drive home in wintertime I use an iphone app to start heating the house.
Yes, other systems exist but I like the convergence.
Despite all the hate here, what Apple usually does very well is make technology accessible and userfriendly.

What could go wrong? (1)

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) | about 4 months ago | (#47095291)

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and dreams of financial gains. Aren't they betting that such a system (or its components) cannot be hacked?

Re:What could go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095419)

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and dreams of financial gains. Aren't they betting that such a system (or its components) cannot be hacked?

No.

They're merely banking on the same thing they've been banking on for the last few years. Their brand carrying forth functionality that otherwise exists elsewhere to try and call it "unique".

What the hell is the big reveal here with iDevices controlling home automation? Apple of all people should know damn well that apps exist today that do this already, so I don't see how they're bringing something to the table here (other than components that exist in the market today at 2x the price).

Sucks. Gonna have to dump my Apple stock sooner than later if they keep up with this kind of "innovation".

Re:What could go wrong? (0, Troll)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 months ago | (#47095551)

Aren't they betting that such a system (or its components) cannot be hacked?

No, they are planning to sell data about your home to anyone who will pay for it. It won't need to be hacked, it will able to be accessed by Apple's home cloud data miners, out of the box.

Consider your home "rooted" . . .

Re:What could go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095711)

Why would Apple be interested in grabbing your data? They're the only one of the major tech companies which have so far shown no interest at all in the "you're the product" business model. Instead sticking rigerously to "here's a cool thing, if you like it, pay us money for it".

Re:What could go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47096249)

So back 2 years ago, their i Ads system where they mandated ALL ads on their i Devices must go through them has nothing to do with it...

and that the opt out for user-tracking is not actually on the device but on their website?

Just because you stick your head in the sand and cover your ears and eyes doesn't make it true.

Re:What could go wrong? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 4 months ago | (#47096541)

Why would Apple be interested in grabbing your data? They're the only one of the major tech companies which have so far shown no interest at all in the "you're the product" business model.

iAd Workbench is the simplest way to advertise to millions of people on their Apple devices. In a few steps, you can create a campaign that drives traffic to your website, generates video views, or promotes your iTunes Store content. Choose your audience, set your budget, and run your campaign across thousands of Apple-verified and brand-safe iOS apps.

http://advertising.apple.com/t... [apple.com]

The Apple Data Mining Lab is looking for an outstanding data mining scientist who is interested in designing, developing, and fielding data mining solutions that have direct and measurable impact to Apple.

http://www.linkedin.com/jobs2/... [linkedin.com]

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The lack of specific injury dooms a massive lawsuit accusing Apple and 14 app developers of mining iPhones and iPads for data, a federal judge said.

http://www.courthousenews.com/... [courthousenews.com]

Re:What could go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47097321)

This. Everyone just assumes they sell the user data, like the Googles.

Re:What could go wrong? (1)

cavreader (1903280) | about 4 months ago | (#47095969)

Now if they could only produce some smart people we might finally be getting somewhere.

Isn't that great! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095301)

... We can get a security system but no SD slot on my iPad ... or a larger screen for my phone, or how about a version of OSX that doesn't suck on my MacBook Pro!

guys, FOCUS!

Re:Isn't that great! (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47095313)

If your MacBook Pro feels slow since the Mavericks upgrade, try to disable the memory compression feature. It sure helped with my Core 2 Duo system, even with 8GiB of RAM.

Re:Isn't that great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095403)

Memory compression? Now Apple is stealing from 15 year old DOS ideas and dressing them up as new?

Re:Isn't that great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095439)

Macs have really, really aggressive disc caching, to the point where it will start to swap active application memory when RAM is full.

Apple to unveil "Smart Home" system (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47095303)

Google retaliates by buying X-10.

News at 23.

Re:Apple to unveil "Smart Home" system (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 months ago | (#47095335)

did you know that you can overclock the x10 devices and run a windowing system on them. or, so I'm told..

Beowulf cluster of X10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095761)

Not only that, but you can use the powerline communications to build a Beowulf cluster of your X-10 devices.

Re:Apple to unveil "Smart Home" system (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 4 months ago | (#47095833)

It can't just be a small overclock, you need to turn that bastard all the way up to 11.

Re:Apple to unveil "Smart Home" system (1)

drkim (1559875) | about 4 months ago | (#47095919)

It can't just be a small overclock, you need to turn that bastard all the way up to 11.

On X-10, I can go all the way up to 16!

Re:Apple to unveil "Smart Home" system (1, Funny)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#47095375)

Just wait a few more weeks until apple sues google for nest infringing on ihome

MisterHouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095321)

I'd rather trust an open source system, like MisterHouse [sourceforge.net] to automate my house. Google wants to turn my home into a billboard, and although Apple is less ad-prone, I'd still feel more secure setting up something myself.

Re:MisterHouse (0, Troll)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 4 months ago | (#47095837)

Apple will just want you to buy all your home accessories and software via their App Store so they get a 30% cut.
Just wait till you need to replace your light bulbs...

Re:MisterHouse (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 4 months ago | (#47096443)

Apple will just want you to buy all your home accessories and software via their App Store so they get a 30% cut.
Just wait till you need to replace your light bulbs...

Sadly, the light bulbs are not user-replaceable. You'll need to buy a new home.

Re:MisterHouse (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 4 months ago | (#47096567)

No. Don't be needlessly dramatic.

You only need to buy entirely new light fixtures.

Oh, and they only work with this newer version of the Controller iOS. You have one of the old controllers from two years ago that can't run the new iOS? Hmmm.

Re:MisterHouse (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#47096849)

Actually, with the new LEDs, you may well buy the fixture when you replace it - 10 to 20 years down the road when it looks so 21st Century. We may be the last generation that understands the old 'how many psychiatrists does it take to screw in a light bulb?" joke.

I will NEVER understand the appeal of this system. (3, Insightful)

Noishkel (3464121) | about 4 months ago | (#47095355)

Honestly I just do NOT see why anyone would ever want to have their own so crazily wired into the internet. What could you possibly ever use it for? I LOVE technology but I can't for the LIFE of me see why this is even remotely appeasing. Yeah, sure there are security applications. But you'll still probably be buying some expensive service to run it. Why in the HELL would you even WANT to wire up your blinder, oven, or washing machine into the friggin' internet? Given the general price tag attached to Apple gear you'll be having to pay a third again higher price for these features.

And hey... how about we talk about SECURITY? We've recent had an example of a hacker getting into a homes network. Using a baby monitor linked to the net to SCREAM at a sleeping baby. The more ways you connect your home to the internet the more likely you're going to leave yourself REALLY exploded to malicious actions.

Re:I will NEVER understand the appeal of this syst (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 months ago | (#47095377)

one appeal is that it makes money for ipv6 vendors.

Re:I will NEVER understand the appeal of this syst (1)

mechtech256 (2617089) | about 4 months ago | (#47095391)

I think it would be quite convenient to have a cell notification go off when the oven has reached the right temperature or has finished cooking, or an alert that my stove has been on for over an hour. I wouldn't object to computer control for lights either (press a button to turn off every light when it's time for bed, etc).

None of these features seem particularly valuable to me, but I'd personally more than happily spend a few thousand for a wired house if I was already dropping hundreds of thousands on the house itself.

Of course your opinion is obviously different, but these systems already exist in multiple forms, so there's obviously a target market for them. The existing technology is also very crude and haphazard for the most part, so anyone who comes along and strong-arms the players into a single standard will probably profit handsomely.

Re:I will NEVER understand the appeal of this syst (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 4 months ago | (#47095507)

I can see lights and heat/cold being attached but if you need a reminder text when your oven has reached temperature then you really shouldn't be cooking.

The problem with these systems is simple. you can't easily combine them into one. If a standard came out that was consistent it would jump forward until that time each system bounces around until you can't get products for it any more 5 years later.

GE used to make a low voltage switching system for homes. the only thing still sold is the control relay's and switches. each of those are very very expensive.

Re:I will NEVER understand the appeal of this syst (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 4 months ago | (#47095945)

Be warned that the oven just reached 220C or whatever is nice, it means you can save energy or fuel.
About standards.. lol, in the 80s they said you would be able to do all that crap with an Apple II, etc. So stock on 5.25" floppies.

Re:I will NEVER understand the appeal of this syst (1)

GNious (953874) | about 4 months ago | (#47097639)

Now, it is mostly toys for me, but I'm using my LIFX bulbs along with a menu-app for my Mac and a home-made app for my Jolla to turn lights on/off, dimm them, or annoy the wife with various colours.

Later, planning on relocating a LIFX bulb into each kid's room, so I can trivially check if they remembered to switch their lights off at night, dim the lights when it is bed-time, and let them go mad with strange colours! (the kids love playing with the bulbs).

Yeah, could do a lot more (oven is interesting idea), but for now this works for me :)

Re:I will NEVER understand the appeal of this syst (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about 4 months ago | (#47095399)

Perhaps people are thinking of it as a "baby sitter" monitor not a "baby" monitor.

Re:I will NEVER understand the appeal of this syst (1)

Noishkel (3464121) | about 4 months ago | (#47095499)

Nope. It was an internet enabled baby monitor. http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/se... [nbcnews.com]

Re:I will NEVER understand the appeal of this syst (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | about 4 months ago | (#47095409)

I have been making a shitload of money doing it for a decade... except I use the real stuff from Crestron and AMX. Real lighting control, real automation.. To the tun of $20,000- $80,000 per home for the real stuff that does not break or fail all the time.

Home automation has been a reality for a very long time, you just had to spend money on it. And yes my clients have been able to control it all from the internet for 10+ years It's not hard at all to make a secure encrypted tunnel from their phone to the house. So they can look at cameras, control lights, see who is home ,lock or unlock doors, see door status, open or close the garage doors, even control the AV system from a distance (that was one of the more wierd requests from a customer)

Re:I will NEVER understand the appeal of this syst (1)

nblender (741424) | about 4 months ago | (#47095471)

I'm glad you've been making a shitload of money... I'm glad there are people willing to pay it... I don't see the appeal either.. One friend of mine has such a system.. After the install, he asked the installer for the configuration software so he can change the 'mood' or 'scene' settings in his home and the installer said "well, technically i'm not allowed to do that. I license the software from the manufacturer and am not allowed to let the end-user have it. I can see you're more than capable of dealing with it so do you mind if I throw this old version in your garbage can here?" ... I mean, that was awfully nice of him but seriously? Get fucked. Another acquaintance of mine is one of these filthy rich folks... They had us over at christmas one year but the christmas lights on the trees out front didn't come on early enough so she got the installer on the phone and he made the changes remotely for her for only $150/hr... Don't get me started on the multi-colored light switches that no one else knows how to use except the home-owners. If I ever become so stupid that I can't hit a light switch in whatever room I walk into, I need a bullet to the head.

No thanks.

Drive Manual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095497)

Seriously. A $5.99 Home Depot switch is all you need, and I don't see those going away anytime soon.

Re:Drive Manual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095515)

BTW - "Drive Manual" is a cheap attempt at a car analogy, but it works for homes too.

A simple switch is cheap now, and will probably continue to be decently cheap...at least I hope so. If my home in 30 years requires a neuroimplant so it can "learn" when I want to turn on a light switch....I'll just buy the house, rip out the home neuronetwork and DIY my own goddamn switch thankyouverymuch.

You aren't the only one with that wish...and there's enough of us around I think it will always be at least a niche option.

Re:Drive Manual (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 4 months ago | (#47095857)

I'll just buy the house, rip out the home neuronetwork and DIY my own goddamn switch thankyouverymuch.

You'll need a permit for that. Don't think the home automation lobby groups won't try and change the building codes.

Re:I will NEVER understand the appeal of this syst (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47096501)

If you're paying $80k for an automated home I'd be specifying something around "I'll be changing the mood settings thank you"

Re:I will NEVER understand the appeal of this syst (2)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 4 months ago | (#47095529)

Living with a connected home for over a decade now. Lights are nice, just starting on color as well as brightness. Security systems well think that is a major feature. Security camera's, arming and disarming via cell phone proximity, and giving status via the phones tablets, tv's and PC's are all killer features for me. Looking at HVAC controls, and really need something more tied in that just the thermostats as it needs to set boiler set-points at least and preferably control multiple systems. Ceiling fans are very nice, automated curtains actually have a noticeable change in heating/cooling bills. Appliances could be nice but need a lot more sensors, dishwashers need some method of knowing if they have a decent amount of dishes in them for example before it's really useful. I don't live in a place where power pricing is particularly fluid so having appliances shift there consumption is not useful to me.

Re:I will NEVER understand the appeal of this syst (1)

Jack Griffin (3459907) | about 4 months ago | (#47096853)

Where I live I don't need security. I leave the front door open when I leave the house, and I never lock my car. I have no need for HVAC because the weather is pretty good most of the year. I do use a small gas heater for a couple of months to take the chill off, but I can still leave the windows open to keep fresh air coming through. I have no need for fans, or curtains, or sensors, or anything technical and I love my house and where I live. I also happen to live in a major city which is consistently ranked in the one of the top places to live/visit globally. I wasn't brought up here, I moved here for these reasons like this. Sometimes technology isn't the solution to everything...

Re:I will NEVER understand the appeal of this syst (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 4 months ago | (#47097165)

I've got cows as neighbors but yet still have security it's not a question of where you live but how vigilant about security you are that is a life choice. You could not get me to want to live in any city no matter what the climate, crime rate, or who says it's the best place ever.

Melbourne AU? Been there nice place, needs AC.

Re:I will NEVER understand the appeal of this syst (1)

Jack Griffin (3459907) | about 4 months ago | (#47096831)

I'm with you. I'm currently adding an extension to my house and the only tech that is going into it is regular AC electricity with a DC circuit for LED only lighting and appliances. I'm specifically looking for low-tech appliances, without standby, and without clocks, preferably DC where possible to allow the whole extension to be able to be run off battery if required. I work with tech all day, I know enough about that to know that I don't want that high maintenance shit anywhere near my house.

Danger! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095361)

If this product requires Internet access to work, I'm not buying. Google bought Nest Labs because its thermostat product reports information to its mother ship--that information can be sold.

Lets users control security? (1)

bazmail (764941) | about 4 months ago | (#47095417)

The system will allow users to control security systems

Surely they mean "property owners"? This will not end well.

Re:Lets users control security? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 4 months ago | (#47096305)

or tenants.

Note to homeowners and home builders: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095447)

When I am considering buying a house, I will probably skip any that have this stuff installed. Home automation is fine, but I don't want to have to join a cult to be able to use it with my Android phone and Windows laptop.

Come to think of it, this applies to car manufacturers too. I already own a top of the line cell phone, so I am probably going to just consider the necessity of switching to an iPhone to use your navigation system an extra cost rather than a feature.

Obsolescence is a cruel mistress (1, Funny)

bazmail (764941) | about 4 months ago | (#47095463)

Awesome if you are prepared to rip it out and install a new one every 3 years, when Cupertino yells "Change Places!"

Re:Obsolescence is a cruel mistress (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 4 months ago | (#47096603)

Awesome if you are prepared to rip it out and install a new one every 3 years, when Cupertino yells "Change Places!"

For example?

a reports? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095477)

Maybe what we need is a smart editing system for submissions. It's clear that puny humans aren't up to the job.

Miniature ICS on the Internet (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 4 months ago | (#47095485)

What could possibly go wrong. Like there are no issues whatsoever with the large scale systems.

Who's controlling the good ship Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095521)

Because nothing says 'exciting new killer app' like home automation products. Yawn.

Can't wait... (4, Insightful)

mars-nl (2777323) | about 4 months ago | (#47095651)

... to buy a light bulb, come home and read the small text on the box that says: "works with Apple devices only".

We *must* use open standards here and not let Google, Apple or whoever infiltrate our houses any further. But looking at how easily folks sell their soul to Apple or Google (Android), I'm not holding my breath. Next time you buy a house, you'll have to decide Apple, Google or Microsoft...

Re:Can't wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47096891)

Next time you buy a house, you'll have to decide Apple, Google or Microsoft...

No, actually my decisions are much more likely to be between Benelli and Remington.

After that the only question is, on which fence posts should I mount the heads of the
trespassers.

If iPods/iPhones Have Taught Me Anything... (4, Insightful)

nick_davison (217681) | about 4 months ago | (#47095697)

So I'll have to rewire my house every couple of years when they change from one proprietary cable standard to another?

iPod: Firewire. Buy lots of firewire connectors.
Newer iPod/iPhone: Dock connector. Toss all of your firewire accessories and move to dock connectors.
Newer iPhones: Lightning connector. Toss all of your dock connector accessories, move to lightning.

Everyone else gets to stick with USB that doesn't carry a $10 premium per cable/device because Apple just invented another proprietary standard.

Re:If iPods/iPhones Have Taught Me Anything... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47096079)

I'm curious what your definition of "couple" is.

Re:If iPods/iPhones Have Taught Me Anything... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47096351)

The 30-pin connector maintained FireWire compatibility, and added support for USB. It did require a new cable (or adapter), but you couldn't buy an iPod without one. Even when they did eventually drop FireWire data they maintained charging and analog compatibility which allowed ongoing use of things like docks and chargers. It wasn't until the Lightning connector came along that anyone was unable to use their old accessories with new iPods.

It's not quite the same as keeping the same interface forever, but I think you could come up with better examples than a consumer electronics device that's got a decade of backwards compatibility.

Re:If iPods/iPhones Have Taught Me Anything... (5, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 4 months ago | (#47097183)

So I'll have to rewire my house every couple of years when they change from one proprietary cable standard to another?

iPod: Firewire. Buy lots of firewire connectors.
Newer iPod/iPhone: Dock connector. Toss all of your firewire accessories and move to dock connectors.
Newer iPhones: Lightning connector. Toss all of your dock connector accessories, move to lightning.

Everyone else gets to stick with USB that doesn't carry a $10 premium per cable/device because Apple just invented another proprietary standard.

And USB has changed standards 3 times since then as well.

Firewire - well, we had USB 1.1 and the gigantic USB B connector. (2001)

Dock connector - we still have gigantic USB B connector. Dock connector adds USB support as well. (2003).

Meanwhile, USB introduces USB mini-B connector. Sees Firewire, goes beserk and introduces USB OTG and USB mini-A and mini-AB connectors.

Somewhere along here, Apple deprecates Firewire as a data interface, but keeps it as a charging interface.

USB sees people using mini-A and mini-AB connectors without implementing full USB OTG spec and deprecates connectors. At same time, USB introduces USB micro A, AB and B connectors.

Apple deprecates Firewire charging now.

Apple decides Dock connector is too full of legacy for its needs, introduces new lightning connector and adapters, 2012.

USB sees Lightning has many advantages of Micro B, introduces USB 3.1 universal connector.

So the dock connector had a good run - it's over 10 years old, doesn't support what people want these days (no HDMI, for example) and been stable. In the meantime, USB decides to change the cables it uses several times over.

I still have piles of USB A-B, USB A-mini-B and am slowly building up a collection of SB A-micro-B cables. But USB 3.1 will introduce a new incompatible set of cables, requiring more adapters. Sorta like how Apple has lightning to dock adapters (which if you only need USB, are stupidly cheap at like $3-4).

I even ignore USB 3.0's expanded and incompatible cables - you can't plug a USB 3.0 cable into anything that doesn't support USB 3.0. You can plug USB pre-3.0 cables into USB 3.0 devices though. The saving grace is that USB 3.0 cables are rarer so you're far more likely to pull a USB 2.0 cable than a USB 3.0 one.

USB has gone through more changes in its plugs than Apple in the same period. And it's a standard.

Re:If iPods/iPhones Have Taught Me Anything... (1)

oji-sama (1151023) | about 4 months ago | (#47098297)

Firewire - well, we had USB 1.1 and the gigantic USB B connector. (2001)

USB B is still being used... There's one in my display (which only supports USB1-2), another in my printer (although I connect via wifi).

USB has gone through more changes in its plugs than Apple in the same period. And it's a standard.

And yet I can take a USB1 memory stick and it works in a USB3 port.

So basically.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095699)

....apple is designing a new line of technology that only the ultra-rich will actually be able to afford. Big surprise there.

Apple makes over-priced, under-performing garbage, the sooner people realize this, the better.

Slogan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095705)

Not content to ONLY give apple two grand for a computer. Tired of only being able to run on one endless upgrade treadmill which reaps Apple 40% margins?

Well boy do I deal for you! Now you can give a company whose security philosophies is 'Viruses? What!? LOL No ways!' control of your sanctum santorum.

The only smart-home (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095781)

for me is a closed system, with a single, secured point of access.. no access for devices to the "cloud", no gathering of profile/marketing data, no cycles or packets used for anything other than providing a worthwhile synergy between devices in the home.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47095855)

For not-so-smart people....

Prior Art Exists. (1)

swschrad (312009) | about 4 months ago | (#47095947)

namely, Bill Gates' home from the 1990s, which changed music, lighting, temperature, all sorts of things when you moved from room to room. thanks to a smart tag that linked to your preferences.

so how'd Apple get that patent, anyway? another case where examiners have a black hood over their cages after their work shift, so they can't read or hear anything?

Re:Prior Art Exists. (1)

pauljlucas (529435) | about 4 months ago | (#47096125)

... Bill Gates' home from the 1990s ... so how'd Apple get that patent, anyway?

Patents last for 20 years. Hence, something patented by Microsoft in 1990 would have expired in 2010.

Re:Prior Art Exists. (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 4 months ago | (#47096847)

Patents last for 20 years. Hence, something patented by Microsoft in 1990 would have expired in 2010.

Yeah I think that's his point. It's been patented, that patent has expired. You think someone can then re-patent it?

The system really works well already... (1)

fleabay (876971) | about 4 months ago | (#47096149)

I had someone trying to break in while I was home and I started yelling iHome, iHome, iHome. And they left.

So Apple wants to push smart homes? (1, Flamebait)

Chas (5144) | about 4 months ago | (#47097041)

Basically because their usebase is so fucking dumb, that if everything isn't handed them and they aren't told "this is great stuff", they're lost.

I swear. It's the turtlenecks. They're wearing them too tight.

Get ready for patent trolling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47097221)

I remember looking at this stuff in the early 2000's. Which must mean it's time for Apple to claim they invented everything and force established players with proven technology out of the industry.

A "select number" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47097443)

> A "select number" of device makers will be certified to offer products

Yet another silo. This time controllig my window shutters and heating. Thanks, but no thanks. And less of that from Apple (or Google, or Microsoft or whoever is jumping on that bandwagon).

Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47098357)

get off my lawn.

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