With all eyes on the iPhone 6, it can be difficult to remember that Apple has other hardware aspirations in the pipeline. 9to5Mac reports that Apple’s next priority will be the Smart Home, consisting of a range of new devices that will interact with Apple’s phones, computers and tablets. According to unnamed sources, Apple has put together a team specifically for the Smart Home initiative, and although development could be delayed, the company is “beyond the exploratory phase of development.”
The sources say that the connected home is an important market for Apple, but the category of devices being built for the home have not yet been identified. That said, Apple is not expected to go into direct competition with the Nest Thermostat or Nest Protect product lines, but will rather build controls panels or even speaker systems, implementing the recently acquired Beats Electronics technology into its devices.
HomeKit will reportedly play a major role in linking Apple’s device lineup with the upcoming Smart Home hardware. HomeKit was introduced as a platform to give iPhone and iPad owners the ability to interact with existing popular devices from other manufacturers, but the software would undoubtedly be compatible with Apple’s hardware as well if the sources are correct.
Apple’s journey into our homes is expected to begin any time soon, but the wheels are in motion. Expect many more reports in the coming months.