That earlier report said Apple is preparing to unveil a software platform for smart appliances like thermostats and refrigerators that would let those gadgets interact with iOS devices.
That may still be the case, but now Gigaom says Apple’s smart home initiative may be little more than a set of standards for those devices that would be integrated with Apple’s existing MFi program for game controllers.
The site didn’t identify its sources, but said they claimed to have knowledge of and/or involvement with the project.
First air conditioners, then the world
Apparently the program will focus on creating a Wi-Fi-based ecosystem for connecting smart devices and may include Bluetooth-based voice controls, but "it won’t have some sort of software-based automation layer controlled by Apple that supersedes the original apps."
Nevertheless, much like with iOS game controllers, users shopping for smart home gadgets will reportedly be able to look for the MFi label and know their system will be connected and compatible.
In fact, Apple already dropped its MFi stamp on a smart air conditioner from Chinese company Haier during CES 2014, according to CNET. The appliance is easy to connect to iOS devices, and that could be an indication of what’s in store for the future of this initiative.
That June 2 announcement we’ve been hearing about is likely to include a slew of additional home devices that will be stamped with MFi certification, but we’ll have to wait and see to be absolutely sure of that.
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