back to article Apple announces 'Home' iOS 9 app to run the Internet of Stuff

As humanity lumbers towards its techno-utopian future, Apple's clever-clogs have put together an iOS 9 app called "Home". Despite some cries regarding delays in the reveal of Apple's HomeKit domestic automation platform, the company has affirmed that it is "looking forward to the first [HomeKit accessories] coming [to market] …

  1. knarf

    oh £100 light bulbs with that special glow

    The glow is the money burning you just spent on a £100 light bulb

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: oh £100 light bulbs with that special glow

      Exactly.

      There is only one meaningful use case for IoT - preventative maintenance and there is not a single IoT enabled appliance on the market to do that at present.

      You get the lot - from "kewl" glow of the "Nest thermostat", through greenie "consumption limitation" and into the outright in(s)ane like IoT blinkenlichten. None of them however computes at present despite all electronics and IT giants falling over each other to get something delusional built.

      The most obvious application however - your [car | boiler | fridge | dishwasher | washing machine ] calling the engineer out for breakdown repairs is not there. Even if the maintenance is "on-fail" and not preventative it is considerably cheaper, more effective and less hassle than getting an engineer call out arranged and having it fixed or replaced. In fact, if it is less hassle I may consider it instead of fixing them myself most of the time.

      1. SuccessCase

        Re: oh £100 light bulbs with that special glow

        "There is only one meaningful use case for IoT - preventative maintenance"

        Imagination fail.

        We live in a world where power tools and lawn mowers can be purchased for like 2p (ok I exaggerate a little, but cummon' prices are now ridiculously low), and you think the ONLY meaningful use case is "preventative maintenance." Nonsense. Soon pretty much every household mechanism will be WiFi enabled and computer controllable and at an extremely cheap price. Even for Apple users. Light bulbs, blinds, curtains, thermostats, locks, music systems, heating. Heating when you leave the house. Off. As you approach home. On. Front door lock as you approach the front door from outside; unlocked. Fridgeswith image recognition, barcode recognition and mould detection, connected directly to your online food shop order. Robotic vacuum cleaner that activates only when you leave the property. Remote unlock will allow you to things like let your kids friend in the house who has arrived early before you have got back. And that's just what I can think of doing a 30 second brainstorm.

        The point is these are small conveniences, but once there is a standard where doing these thing "just works" and the price is low (which it will be), sure as eggs are eggs we will all be IoT users.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: oh £100 light bulbs with that special glow

          @SuccessCase: *Particularly* since Apple appear to be considering keeping this (including the security aspects) closed source, I can see the EULA now ...

          If you get burgled, burnt down, flooded or infested because of a malfunctioning HomeKit product, the phrase you need to remember is "Tough tit, you bought it." (*).

          (*) Credit to (if memory serves) Jeremy Hardy on Just a Minute. He proposed it as the title of a new consumer affairs program, to replace all the ones featuring losers whining about the bleedin' obvious (*).

          (*) Credit to Basil Fawlty, if that isn't bleedin' obvious.

        2. thtechnologist

          Re: oh £100 light bulbs with that special glow

          You are willing to trust your security to internet connected locks and heaters? Really? I seriously hope you are kidding. Security is currently an afterthought for most vendors, and has been for years.

        3. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: oh £100 light bulbs with that special glow

          So, if I leave the house with someone else still in it, will they be plunged into darkness and mowed down by the robotic vacuum cleaner?

          The automated fridge ordering thing might work if:

          You keep everything you buy from the grocery store in the fridge

          You always eat the same things, never try anything new or different, never have other people round and never go on holiday

        4. slooth

          Re: oh £100 light bulbs with that special glow

          All good and well until the first power failure and you are either locked out, or your home is left wide open

        5. Trigonoceps occipitalis

          Re: oh £100 light bulbs with that special glow

          And at 2:14 a.m., EDT, on August 29, it gained self-awareness ...

          ROTIOT

          (Rise of the Internet of Things)

          1. TheOtherHobbes

            Re: oh £100 light bulbs with that special glow

            >And at 2:14 a.m., EDT, on August 29, it gained self-awareness ...

            And lo - there was toast and house music for all.

      2. JP19

        Re: oh £100 light bulbs with that special glow

        "calling the engineer out for breakdown repairs"

        For faults which the control system can detect unaided - if you want more you start spending more on built in diagnostics and sensors but I would rather have that money spent on making the thing more reliable and longer lasting in the first place.

        It won't be calling engineers anyway because without prior arrangement with you no one will be there to grant access and you would want a quote because a lot of white goods are cheaper to scrap than repair.

        What is the difference between a dishwasher telling you it has a fault (when you are washing dishes) and you contacting the manufacturer to arrange repair and the dishwasher contracting the manufacturer over the interwebs and them contacting you to arrange repair? - Nothing worth spending money on IMO.

        You seem to be extrapolating from business equipment which often has maintenance contracts, almost guaranteed access during working hours, and substantial down time costs which justify the contracts. That doesn't scale to domestic white goods.

        My boiler has almost no electronics in it and hasn't broken down in its 30+ year life - that is the kind of 'thing' I want to buy.

    2. Darryl

      Re: oh £100 light bulbs with that special glow

      £100 for the 40 watt (equivalent) version

      add £100 if you want 60 watts, and another £100 for the 100 watt

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Internet of Thing

    Leaving aside my laptop and phone, here's an exhaustive list of the Things in my house that are connected to the Internet:

    1. Roku

    /end

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Internet of Thing

      Controlable lightbulbs etc. are a damn waste of time

      But the "IoT" fad is really annoying given that my car GPS tracker is online, my CCTV is online, my entertainment is all online, even the garden gate is online. It's not hard to find burglar alarms that are online.

      This stuff's been around for decades. Just no pillock ever wanted to control their lightbulb from the other side of the world (definitely having Big Bang Theory flashbacks here) and shout about it before. But I've seen industrial boiler controls with modems on them, and all sorts. Why do we have to have a name for a fad that's been around for decades in much more useful forms. Hell, I still have a phone-line -> serial controller somewhere that I got out of a box of 80's-era junk from a previous workplace, and I was wiring DTMF (and even ringer) -controlled phone circuits up when I was a teenager.

  3. Slap

    Maybe

    Maybe they should concentrate on fixing and optimising the current buggy and pretty crap OSes before plowing on to the tenuous "New Features" that practically nobody will ever use.

  4. ThomH Silver badge

    "Apple announces 'Home' iOS 9 app to run the Internet of Stuff"

    ... in the sense that one of the rumour sites published a story that Apple might announce a 'Home' iOS 9 app next month.

    So Apple definitely hasn't announced a 'Home' app and may well never do so.

  5. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Money money money

    This is about collecting marketing data, sending you marketing, and collecting a monthly subscription. I don't buy the argument about appliances calling in their own repairs. Come on, how many appliance makers even honour their warranty without taking them to court? It's not about integrating your home life. We're decades away from homes structures being built to accommodate fancy electronics. It's not for cars either, as neither car makers nor Apple are interested in supporting electronics for as long as a car lasts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Money money money

      I've got a ten year old washing machine.

      Preventative maintenance is using calgon or similar. I don't see an IoT brain in it being cost-effective at determining when the bearings might need replacing - noise, leaping across kitchen, water under machine are all good indicators. And why would I want it to phone the manufacturer for help; the man who advertises in the village magazine is a lot closer, cheaper and more likely to attend at a suitable time.

  6. chivo243 Silver badge

    BFD

    really? I'm an apple user.... but I would never let an app control my house. Not in this day and age or this reality. Computer, Distortion field off!

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    No interested

    ...unless I get GERTY to manage my house.

    1. Paw Bokenfohr

      Re: No interested

      +1 for Moon reference.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    alljoyn

    An open a very well established iot framework.. No need for apple lock-in tactics that ensures you are always forced to buy iPhone because of the expensive lightbulbs you bought for the house.

    Sadly too many idiots will discover this problem way too late, getting swooned by apples empty promises and slick marketing

  9. John 104

    in creating networked devices which can share data with manufacturers, it is hoped some of that data might, eventually, one day, maybe, be worth something.

    Why are there so many idiots out there seem to think that it is OK to just spew their personal details to the world? Do I really want my light bulb or refrigerator habits living in a DB somewhere? Perhaps when I leave my house and when I come back? Because that data would NEVER get compromised. No thank you.

    This is the same reason why I didn't buy a Cisco wireless router a few years ago. It was cheaper than the Asus I ended up with (RT-N66U and loving it). However, Asus doesn't require the user to create an account online to manage advanced features.

    Maybe I'm just too rooted in reality and don't get all jittery when the opportunity to be a "geek" presents itself. Or maybe its because I work in the industry and know how badly corporations take security...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I bought a DSL-66U and it's a sack of shit, the retards at Asus fix one bug in the firmware then introduce two new ones.

  10. pompurin

    Toaster with Internet

    Who's going to put bread in it? I would need a Rube Goldberg type contraption to take the bread from my breadbin and drop it in the toaster.

    Solution looking for a market IMO.

    1. Sealand
      Big Brother

      Re: Toaster with Internet

      > Who's going to put bread in it?

      That would be the iSlicer (or GSlicer) bread cutting robot, triggered by your smart watch measuring your blood sugar and detecting a low.

  11. Medixstiff

    So IOS 9 will be shown too, well I hope they fixed all the stuff still going on from IOS 6 days, such as the little issue with recurring calendar appointments not syncing when something is changed in the entry.

    I also hope they stop f*cking about with Bluetooth all the time, it's our second biggest headache for staff and their car kits.

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