Home iOS Does Apple’s recent HomePod OS set the scene for WWDC?

Does Apple’s recent HomePod OS set the scene for WWDC?

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Apple’s HomePod now runs software based on tvOS as it moves to develop a more sophisticated smart home platform.

Homes are computers

Smart home technology is evolving. It is becoming clear that connected devices inside homes need platforms powerful enough to deliver the convenience on which these things are sold, while also bringing the security, privacy and automation advantages we used to read about in sci-fi novels.

I’ve written about some of the unexpected problems that have shown themselves since the first HomeKit device appeared. As the intelligence inside these devices grows, those challenges will become more complex to resolve.

This is why Apple at WWDC 2019 introduced HomeKit-approved routers and CCTV systems, moves that showed the company sees the need to wrap security and privacy around smart homes.

The move to put tvOS inside HomePods is (I think) an expression of this. While tvOS is based on iOS, which is to an extent also based on macOS, the move to coalese Apple’s home platforms around one OS “brand” surely shows something?

What does a move to tvOS bring to HomePod?

Both the Apple TV and HomePod already act as HomeKit hubs, so you can control your smart systems remotely. The move to put tvOS inside both systems opens the doors to further integration between Apple’s domestic devices.

It may also set the scene for further evolutions, including the deployment of machine intelligence inside HomeKit smart homes – homes that lliterally learn who you are, identify your preferences, and pre-empt your wishes.

Apple is certainly exploring ways in which to make smart homes smarter. Recent patent filings have described technologies that provide HomePod with the ability to figure out who is in a room, for example.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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