New Apple software to turn iPhone into ‘remote control for the home’

Reports suggest Apple is poised to announce its biggest endorsement yet of the internet of things, with new software that can connect the iPhone to the home.

iPhone 5s
iPhone 5s

It would effectively turn the iPhone into a remote control, which could operate lights, security systems, and other household appliances whether or not the owner is in their home. 

According to the Financial Times, Apple will make an announcement at the World-wide Developer Conference on 2 June in San Francisco.

Google has this year already acquired Nest Labs – which makes internet-connected thermostats and smoke alarms – in a  £1.9bn deal, and rivals Samsung has just entered the market with refrigerators, washing machines, and televisions which can be controlled with its smartphones and watches.

In November 2013 Apple filed a patent for technology that can track a user’s location and use the data to control other devices and home appliances as the user approaches or move around the home.

This technology could be used to control lights as the user enters a room or control heating ahead of arriving home.

According to the Financial Times, Apple has been talking to a small group of the makers of other smart home products which could be made compatible with its system.

The FT reports that this compatibility arrangement will be similar to Apple’s Made for iPhone label  but that it will operate under a separate brand name.

Some popular internet of things technologies such as the Hive app, which controls heating remotely, is available on both Apple and Android platforms.

Apple was unable to comment.

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