Apple’s promise to launch a variety of new products throughout 2014 has not yet been fulfilled. When CEO Tim Cook made that statement in a Quarterly Earnings conference call, the tech world speculated as to what the company had in store. A rumored iWatch, iPad Pro, and revamped Apple TV have all been contemplated. Today, 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple has plans to enter the smart home market with gadgets and gizmos that will link to iOS 8’s HomeKit software developer kit.
According to 9to5Mac, Apple is looking into developing hardware for the smart home market and has gathered a team to work on products for the home that will integrate with preexisting devices like the iPad, Mac, and Apple TV.
Unnamed sources told 9to5Mac that Apple is “beyond the exploration phase of development.” There is no information as to the categories that Apple plans to build products for. However, the company believes the home to be an “incredibly important and lucrative potential market.”
The sources noted that Apple will not likely push for development for home security and convenience devices like Google’s Nest Thermostat and Smoke Detector. The company feels it can build products that can be more widely used in the home, like advanced speaker systems or control panels for the home.
In 2005, Apple tested the waters of home entertainment with the Hi-Fi Home Stereo System for iPod. However it’s steep price and hefty weight (the “portable” speaker weighs in at 20 pounds) were a deterrent to potential buyers.
The company’s other home entertainment device, Apple TV, is doing quite well. MacWorld believes that the set-top box makes logical sense to be Apple’s HomeKit connection hub. If Apple launches a line of products that can connect to your iPad, iPhone, Mac, and Apple TV, you’ll be in a good spot.