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Looking back, it’s strange to see how far technology has come. Back in 1952, the Zenith Electronics Corporation had just come out with the first remote control ever, which hardly had any functionality and was tied to the TV through a cable. Now–a paltry 62 years later–we’re so technologically advanced that there’s even an app to control your home.
Apple is hoping to make waves at its Worldwide Developer Conference on June 2 in San Francisco with a home automation control that would allow an iPhone to adjust a house’s heat, turn off lights, and run various appliance.
The tech community is already buzzing to see what Apple’s take on smart-home will look like. Tom Cheesewright, futurologist and BBC tech commentator, explained that, “The big barrier to this technology taking off has been the user experience, which we all know is Apple’s forte. The fundamental tech has been there for some years. But the companies trying to bring them to the mass have lacked the design sensibilities to make them appeal to anyone but the geek minority. You could have wonderful levels of automation but at prices only accessible to the tech and sports elite.”
After applying for patents that hinted at such technology back in November, Apple has been working with appliance manufacturers to make their products Apple certified, the same way many, third-party accessories now bear the “Made for iPhone” label. Imagine walking into your local department store, and seeing an iCoffee-Maker.
As mentioned, this isn’t the newest, most innovative concept. Other companies have been making their own attempts to break into the the Internet of Things, which is the name of the class of appliances that can interact with mobile devices. Samsung, for example, has also taken a step into smart home technology, introducing a line of TVs, refrigerators, and washing machines that users can control with their mobile technology.
However, now that Apple has entered the fray, the Internet of Things may really start to take off. According to Cheesewright, “Apple will steamroller any standards issues and sort the design in a way that is intuitive to any one of the millions of iOS device owners.”
Though such appliances seem like they’ve been pulled straight out of The Jetsons, the Business Insider predicts that the Internet of Things will account for a whopping 9 billion products on the marketplace by as early as 2018.