HomePodSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Apple is hiring a lot of smart-home engineers.
  • A Bloomberg report suggests it is trying to catch up with Amazon and Google.
  • It is suggested that Apple has previously explored several smart-home innovations including smart windows and doors.

A report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman via MacRumors suggests that Apple is increasing its hiring of smart-home engineers in a bid to catch up with rivals.

According to the report:

Apple Inc. is ramping up hiring for a team that is working on new smart-home software and devices in an effort to catch up in a field where Google and Amazon.com Inc. have dominated, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The company is seeking engineers to work in its Cupertino, California, headquarters and in San Diego as part of a group revamping Apple's smart-home platform. The overhaul is designed to spur more outside accessory and appliance makers to connect smart-home products such as lights and garage doors with the iPhone and Apple's voice-activated digital assistant, Siri. The team also is exploring the possibility of building new home devices beyond the HomePod speaker.

MacRumors notes that the team is headed up by Andreas Gal, formerly of Mozilla and owner of AI startup Silk Labs. It's also reported that Apple has previously explored a "wide range" of smart home accessories including modules that can open and close windows, cabinets and doors, but that these have been put on hold.

Bloomberg's report seems to suggest that Apple may be looking to create new devices alongside (or beyond) the HomePod as a means to increase its slice of the smart-home market.