Apple announced HomeKit to developers at WWDC last year. Photo: Apple
Apple is gearing up to introduce its smarthome platform HomeKit alongside the launch of iOS 9 this fall. It will let users control smart devices like lights, door locks, and thermostats from their phones. You’ll also be able to issue voice commands to digital assistant Siri, and the company has updated the list of things you can say to get things done around your house.
But when we looked at the list of commands, we noticed that Apple is making some strange assumptions about how people might be using the new automation features. Here are some of the examples Apple gives and why they have us scratching our heads.
HomeKit is all about letting your things talk to your other things.
HomeKit just gained a powerful new partner: Communication firm Broadcom announced yesterday that its WICED (“Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices”) software now offers full support with Apple’s connected-accessory framework.
WICED is the first software development kit to meet HomeKit’s standards for Wi-fi and Bluetooth Smart, which gives it a head start over other companies looking to get in on Apple’s platform.
In this demonstration video, a mother gestures to turn off the lights thanks to the Reemo smartwatch she is wearing. Photo: Reemo/YouTube
This is the year computer power migrates to our wrists. We have the roll-out hype of the Apple Watch to thank for that. But one company wants that power to be flexed through a flick of the wrist.
Reemo is software and a wrist device you probably haven’t heard of. It doesn’t come in gold or send your heartbeat to a loved one.
It is built around the emerging technology of gesture control — users become maestros in their homes and offices. With a range of gestures and arm movements, users can control the volume on televisions and stereos, trigger door looks, drop the temperature of a room and power lighting up or down.
The SnapPower USB charger has raised more than $600,000 on Kickstarter. Photo: SnapPower
There are just two of us in the apartment, but power strips and bulky USB adapters charging our various devices take up room in every room.
The founders of SnapPower are building a company around the electrical outlet to bring order to household cords.
After the success of an outlet plate with built-in LED lights, the Orem, Utah company already has raised thousands of dollars on Kickstarter to produce an electrical outlet cover with a sleek, built-in USB charger.
Johann Jungwirth used to head up Mercedes’ R&D lab in Silicon Valley. He now works for Apple on Mac systems engineering. Yeah right. Photo: Mercedes Benz
Johann Jungwirth is a new Apple employee with one of the world’s most unbelievable job titles.
Until the middle of last year, Jungwirth headed up the big Mercedes-Benz R&D facility in Silicon Valley that, among other things, is responsible for the futuristic self-driving car you see below. (The astonishing Mercedes F 015 is very real, BTW).
Jungwirth was hired by Apple last September and given the title of “Director of Mac Systems Engineering,” according to his LinkedIn page. The title appears to be total hogwash. Jungwirth spent his entire 20-year career working on connected cars, not computers.
Apple is famous for obfuscating about its new hires to throw off competitors and journalists, and the company is reportedly working on a top-secret electric car. If Apple is interested in the stuff Jungwirth has worked on, it’s going to be a wild ride.
TrackingPoint’s Internet-connected rifles promise accuracy and “social” hunting. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
LAS VEGAS — I hate hunting. Not because I’m morally opposed to needlessly slaughtering animals, but because I’m a horrible shot.
I couldn’t hit a deer even if it was only 100 yards away, which is why I need TrackingPoint’s Internet-connected rifles. They boast the same type of precision-guided technology that fighter jets use to blast targets from miles away, while letting your family and friends watch the slaughter from the comfort of their couches.
If you too are a bit of a tech-loving caffeine fiend, you may be interested in the new Mr. Coffee Smart Coffeemaker, a gorgeous new smart coffee-making device programmed and controlled remotely from your iPhone.
Using the dedicated iOS app, users can schedule up to a week’s worth of coffee brew times — meaning that your morning pot of joe can start being brewed while you’re still asleep, so that it’s all ready for sipping the moment you arrive in your kitchen.
Craig Federighi takes the wraps off Apple’s HomeKit at WWDC 2014. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
Imagine getting home after a hard day’s work in the year 2016: There’s no need for keys as you approach your house, since proximity sensors in the lock mean a simple iPhone voice authorization will open the door for you.
The house has been alerted to your arrival, so your Nest thermostat has adjusted the temperature to suit you, while your Philips Hue connected light bulbs change the lighting to fit your mood — predicted by analyzing your heart rate and schedule for that day. The iWatch on your wrist runs Jawbone app, letting you know your caffeine levels are a little high and that you should wait until 7:30 p.m. before going for a jog to ensure maximum sleep quality that night.
Five minutes after putting your car keys down, dinner’s ready. You’re running late, but your smart immersion cooker — which has been monitoring your location all day — has delayed cooking until the optimal start time.
The Orange Chef’s Claire McClendon, left, and Amy Wu lead lunch prep at the company’s San Francisco offices. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
SAN FRANCISCO — James Armstrong might be one of the few iOS engineers who loses weight while on a coding bender.
Armstrong is lead developer at The Orange Chef Co., the company behind a smart kitchen scale called Prep Pad. It weighs your food and, based on the nutritional profile you set, gives you a more accurate idea of how much you should eat. While working on a companion iPad app called Countertop, Armstrong beta tested his meals and realized how super-sized they were. So he cut the portions and shed 30 pounds.
“I had to buy new clothes twice,” he says.”I bought a bunch of clothes, then I had to buy ‘em again — it’s made that much difference.”