Rumour: Apple to unveil new smart home technology
New software could mean controlling your house with your iPhone
Apple is prepping a new software platform that would enable people to use their iPhones and iPads as remote controls for household appliances such as, lighting, security and temperature, the Financial Times has reported.
The new smart home technology will be unveiled at the Worldwide Developer Conference on 2 June in San Francisco, the FT said, citing people familiar with the matter.
According to the report, Apple has been talking to a select group of other device makers whose smart products will be certified to work with its forthcoming new system and then be sold in its retail stores.
The connected-home system will give Apple customers more reasons to buy several devices in its iOS family, by using the iPhone or iPad in conjunction with its Apple TV box to control other domestic devices.
The scheme will be similar to Apple's existing "Made for iPhone" label, given to compatible headphones, speakers and other accessories.
Apple Stores already sell several smart home products ranging from $50 to $250 in price. These include Nest thermostats, Dropcam wireless cameras, Philips Hue lightbulbs and Belkin WeMo switches, each of which is controlled by a separate iPhone app.
Apple's move follows Google's $32bn acquisition of Nest Labs, makers of high-tech thermostats and smoke alarms, in January this year. Samsung has also recently debuted its Smart Home range of refrigerators, washing machines and TVs that can be controlled by its smartphones and watches.