Apple reportedly preparing new system for home automation

Apple is reported to have a home automation system in the works, with a reveal set for next week's WWDC 2014 conference. The move, which would be taking on floundering efforts by Google and Samsung, would be a big leap for Apple. Though Apple has over the years released a few components here or there for the home (see: iPod Hi-Fi), they've typically left most of the electronic accessories work to third parties.

That said, the addition of home automation to Apple products could follow a similar path as that of AirPlay, wherein Apple licenses a chip for the receiving device that enables AirPlay compatibility. A similar system, with an "Apple Home" chip (name is made up) could see home automation compatibility added to a wide range of third party devices, but still have them operating under Apple's guidelines.

To that end, Financial Times reports that Apple is working with third party manufacturers to produce products certified to work with the new system:

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.

Apple announced CarPlay at WWDC 2013 and shipped it in early 2014. The addition of home automation to Apple's ecosystem would be a large one, one that would expand the reach of an iPhone or iPad or Mac into the entire home. What features would you like to see Apple build into a home automation and control system?

Source: Financial Times