back to article Apple fanbois make it 'official', hook up with Internet of Fridges Things

Apple has joined the Internet of Things after naming an air conditioning unit as the first fruity-certified smart appliance. The Chinese manufacturer Haier's Tianzun air conditioner has been granted MFi status, which has nothing to do with the defunct British DIY chain. Rather, it is Apple's certification programme for …

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Anonymous Coward

I suppose it is hard work to stand up walk two or three paces and adjust the dial on the wall.

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Joke

Something else to lose

Just bought my wife 6 of those key finder bleepers as I'm tired of hunting for keys. I guess I could nail an iPhone to the wall to stop it being lost.

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I take it you get up and walk across the lounge to change the channel on your TV then?

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Anonymous Coward

It is very difficult if you are 20 miles away.

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If you are 20 miles away, why would you feel the need to tweak the aircon?

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Anonymous Coward

"I suppose it is hard work to stand up walk two or three paces and adjust the dial on the wall."

No wonder there is an obesity crisis, fat fanbois to lazy to get off of the sofa!

Limiting your market to only be crApple certified. Tied to the playground? No thanks!

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Anonymous Coward

"It is very difficult if you are 20 miles away."

If you can't be trusted to set your appliance/heating before leaving the house, I would not be giving you any business!

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Anonymous Coward

"If you can't be trusted to set your appliance/heating before leaving the house, I would not be giving you any business!"

You mean you've never told your boss you'd forgotten to do something?

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Quite simple

>If you are 20 miles away, why would you feel the need to tweak the aircon?

For real airconditioners (not these Mickey Mouse units) in hot countries/states, having the ability to turn on the a/c remotely is brilliant.

If you leave the house for the day, you can set a high temperature on the a/c to get rid of humidity and keep the house getting too hot, yet the moment you know you are returning (eg coming back from work) you can log in, set the air con to a more comfortable level and by the time you've arrived it's at the temp you like.

As opposed to keeping the unit running all day keeping an empty house cool.

You could alternatively try and figure out how the house timer thermostat works but they really are the work of the devil.

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@Wize

I dunno - how does "poops and giggles" sound?

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Re: Quite simple

If setting timers is so hard then how is doing it remotely likely to be any easier? Better to spend 5 minutes just once working out how to preset different temperatures for various times of day than to muck about with a smartphone evey day on the way home.

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Everything

I would like for every wall and lamp socket, every appliance and entertainment device in my home to be part of my personal thingerweb.

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Unhappy

Re: Everything

Well, with this and Google's Nest purchase, I'd say you probably won't have to wait too long. Unfortunately.

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Re: Everything

What Mickel said, plus the heat, the electrical portal, doors, and probably things I have no idea I'll have in the future.

And no, I won't do it with a closed phone/laptop techno, from Apple or anyone else, no way, and I suspect no-one will ever do it.

I'll go Zwave and/or Zigbee, that are both, if not totally free techno, at least endorsed by MANY manufacturers. Zigbee being a 2.4 GHz radio techno, it will soon be in every smart phone. Except Apples', a bit like NFC after all.

Going the "my techno and nothing else" is becoming more and more a strategical mistake for Cupertino. Soon, they will realise it ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Everything

Z-wave, Zigbee, Lightwave RF.

It's not hard.

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Re: Everything

Belkin WeMo wall socket adapters would allow one to do this with anything that plugs in to the wall already. I have one myself and rate it quite highly, in fact I may buy a second one day. The feature I like is that it has a timer function that can utilise local sunset/sunrise data to turn a set of lights on at dusk and off at sunrise every day, now that's magic...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Everything

"I would like for every wall and lamp socket, every appliance and entertainment device in my home to be part of my personal thingerweb."

Tragic!

People are too easily sucked into crap like this. What is wrong with people?

You're not smart trying to make everything smart!

Sad, just very very sad.

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Re: Everything

"Going the "my techno and nothing else" is becoming more and more a strategical mistake for Cupertino. Soon, they will realise it ..."

Because the more you say it, the more true it is.

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Anonymous Coward

The piece of home equipment I would like to control using my fondleslab

would be my missus.

Actually, never mind the fondleslab, just any means of having any sort of control at all would be a reasonable start.

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Re: The piece of home equipment I would like to control using my fondleslab

All in-range humans would be good. Plus an auto-freeze when they come into range, to give me time to formulate my evil plan...

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Re: The piece of home equipment I would like to control using my fondleslab

This seems to be a case of misunderstanding the objects functions as well as a complete lack of familiarity with the user interface.

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Re: The piece of home equipment I would like to control using my fondleslab

"This seems to be a case of misunderstanding the objects functions as well as a complete lack of familiarity with the user interface."

Agreed. Though however many times the rest of us read the user manual, we will never completely understand the functionality, or be able to consistently provide the correct inputs to the user interface...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The piece of home equipment I would like to control using my fondleslab

"This seems to be a case of misunderstanding the objects functions as well as a complete lack of familiarity with the user interface."

Quite the opposite, it's over-familiarity and too much understanding...

As an elderly neighbour commented to me recently, "it was only when I lost my libido that I realised I'd spent 50 years tethered to an expensive idiot"

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Re: The piece of home equipment I would like to control using my fondleslab

All in-range humans would be good. Plus an auto-freeze when they come into range, to give me time to formulate my evil plan...

Might I suggest some sort of remotely-controlled device that emits a waft of bacon to entice people into range? In fact, it could probably dispense actual, real bacon. Much easier, technologically-speaking, than a freeze ray, and almost as good at preventing humans from escaping---kind of like the olfactory equivalent of a monkey trap.

(sadly, those glyphs on hand driers don't actually mean "receive bacon", which is why humans eventually give up and leave the bathroom)

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Re: The piece of home equipment I would like to control using my fondleslab

Whaaaaaaat? You can lose your libido? Oh crap.

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Vic
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Re: The piece of home equipment I would like to control using my fondleslab

> any means of having any sort of control at all would be a reasonable start.

My missus is Welsh.

A mute button would be *fabulous* ...

Vic.

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Headmaster

DIY?

which has nothing to do with the defunct British DIY chain.

Umm, they were a furniture store, not a DIY one?

I think MFI stood for Mullard Furniture Industries, although they also used "more furniture ideas" as an alternative in advertising slogans too.

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MFI?

MFI was short for

'More Fools Inside'

'Much Flatpack Insanity'

and some other non publishable names as well.

I spent a week working there when I was a student many eons ago. The only word that could describe the management at the time was Neanderthal. I left after a week because I could not stand the lies being told to the customers during the sales process.

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Re: MFI?

MFI...

Surely - Made For Idiots?

(And I speak as someone who fitted an MFI kitchen)

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Flame

Re: DIY?

Made For Idiots once priced up a kitchen for me and were £8,000 (EIGHT GRAND) more expensive than IKEA, so no surprise they went under

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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cant do that.

Cool or chiiiiiiily?

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Anonymous Coward

MFI the car, for engine and performance management.

I want to be able to diagnose engine conditions, faults etc without having to go to a garage or buy a specialist cable to plug into the engine somewhere. I want to sit in my front room, with the car parked outside, look at my laptop or phone and see why the engine is displaying a warning light.

I want to be able to gather the running data , possibly GPS positions and speeds from my car when it's outside my house, so I can track journeys, fuel economies etc. I want to see performance over time, to look for indicators of faults developing. I want to be able to look at the logs of all engine management changes, wirelessly, told to me by the engine itself.

And of course, I want it to all be highly secured.

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Modern cars already have all this info floating around on the internal network so you'd think it wouldn't be hard; the problem is that beyond the basic emissions related stuff available through the OBD-II port it's all highly specfic to each vehicle and encrypted to boot. I've seen a lot of work done on the Discovery 3 that had to be completely redone for the not-obviously-radically different D4; a cynic might suggest the manufacturers do this deliberately so each garage has to buy that manufacturer's own diagnostics kit for each model :-(

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OBD-II and Jeep

My Grand Cherokee allows you to view the codes without a reader, saved me a lot of hassle when my Throttle position started to play up, so you don't need to special equipment to read and fix. It took me 10 mins to fix with nothing more than a screwdriver. The TPS was about £15 as well.

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Anonymous Coward

I'd prefer to use a standard protocol so I don't need to own a particular brand of hardware.

Zigbee, Z-wave and so on.

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Joke

"Chinese manufacturer Haier's Tianzun air conditioner"

How long before they're blocked from import to the US due to the threat of espionage...

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Door locks

And peepholes, for that matter. Seriously, I've had a smartphone since 2008 and STILL I have to carry a sharp, malformed chunk of potentially lethal (for children, natch) metal with me at all times?

I actually spent some time thinking about this once. Refrigerators are near useless to network, but a lightswitch is remarkably useful. For example, turn on the A/C/heating when lightswitch detects a paired bluetooth smartphone nearby and adjust the dimmer based on time of day or detected lighting levels.

Personally, I want an oven that dings my smartphone to let me know when it's done preheating. I tend to step away and forget while waiting for it to warm up enough to cook my frozen pizza.

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Re: Door locks

Ovens cook things even while they are heating up - what you actually need is to put the pizza in and start from cold/frozen and have the oven cook for the right amount of time, send you a message just prior to completion and then switch to a keep-warm temperature and finally off if you don't come and open the door soon.

Of course, for now, you could at least use the heat being wasted to cook the pizza, unless you need the heat anyway, after all, it is Winter in most places.

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INTRANET of things

Whilst some could argue it might also be 'internet of Thing', Intranet of things really applies to Apple.

That walled garden is an Intranet.

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Re: INTRANET of things

Or more importantly, I'd like an INtranet - what I don't want is what Google is heading for with it's acquisition of Nest, and what Apple has been doing with various things* While Nest looked interesting, it's definitely off my list now as full detail of how the house is occupied is none of Google's business.

The big thing to remember in all of this is that we are not the customer. We are the product, and advertisers are the customer. So look forward to more "IoT" announcements that tie you in to sending more and more personal information to Google & Apple (and Microsoft who are late to this party having had to have Apple show them how to do it without a user backlash).

* EG, they've dropped local sync services from Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks. The official line is that they aren't needed (crock of manure IMO) now that everyone uses the cloud. In reality, they don't want anyone to not use the cloud (by default their cloud) to sync stuff between Mac and <whatever> as that makes it harder for anyone daring to use other than Apple iThingies.

And Tim Bates wrote

> Will your Apple certified Air Conditioner be of any use in 2 years time when you've bought a new phone or Apple's decided to change the APIs in a way that makes the control app useless?

That's why open standards are such a good idea. But open standards don't allow Apple/Google/Whoever to a) lock you in to only using their devices & services, and b) force you to upgrade your kit when they decide to "upgrade" the service they depend on.

And strum wrote

> Apple house or Android house?

Again, it's why open standards are essential. But those of us who realise that are in a minority and the general population "don't care as long as it's shiny". It'll only matter if it gets to a state where one of us goes to look at a house and states "I'll offer you £x, but it's conditional on replacing <long list> with open standards equivalents", or "I'll only offer £Y based on how much I'm going to have to spend ripping out all that crap you thought was a selling feature". Only then will they realise that it's costly to support closed standards/

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Expesive door stop in 3, 2, 1?

Careful people... Will your Apple certified Air Conditioner be of any use in 2 years time when you've bought a new phone or Apple's decided to change the APIs in a way that makes the control app useless?

Sort of like how some expensive web enabled devices are only accessible from IE6 - good when you bought it, but no so great now they're up to IE11.

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Bronze badge

Apple house or Android house?

This all great, I'm sure. But are we going to reach a point where house-hunting has to specify which kind of Things are installed there - is it an Apple house or an Android house? The same thing may be happening with cars - I may really fancy that Turbo Speedster, but is it an Apple car or an Android car?

Bit of a First-World problem, I know - but it could get messy.

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"The new Apple application will allow you to flush your toilet by using a iPhone while the Apple TV will stay playing Hallelujah"

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