With iOS 8, Apple announced their interest in making their way into your home via the HomeKit framework. It’s an interesting move given that former Apple employee and father of the iPod Tony Fadell has made waves with his company Nest and their own home automation products, which was made even more interesting when they were bought up by Google whom many consider to be Apple’s rival.
That being said, could Apple be thinking about entering the home automation market with products of their own? Well according to a recently discovered patent, it seems like it, although instead of building a completely brand new product, the patent talks about leveraging existing products like iPhones, iPads, and so on which could act as smoke detectors.
According to the patent’s description, “In response to detecting smoke with the smoke detector, the electronic device may issue an alert or take other suitable action. The electronic device may transmit alerts to nearby electronic devices and to remote electronic devices such as electronic devices at emergency services facilities.”
Basically what this means is that your iDevice could alert the authorities and emergency services, while at the same time communicating with other devices like sprinklers, telling them to activate. Also the fact that there’s a chance you have your phone with you will also allow emergency services to better track your location in the event that you’re trapped and need to be rescued.
It sounds like a good idea but what if your device was low on battery, does that mean it won’t work? Well if we had to guess, we’d reckon that Apple’s method would seem like a secondary source of alerts and to provide additional information to emergency services, as opposed to being a primary source for smoke detection. In any case there’s no telling if and when Apple will actually make this patent a reality, but what do you guys think?