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Old Dec 20, 2012, 06:00 PM   #51
Tech198
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neat....

You can easily spot the iPhone in this picture.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 06:25 PM   #52
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The problem with home automation is I think, high cost and complexity, Apple could address one of those.
Take lights, not plug in ones but wall ones, I believe you have to install new switches etc so not an easy thing to do. It's still a bit in the future, mind you I see they are moving along with automated cars.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 06:35 PM   #53
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Savant Systems

Savant Systems would be a better acquisition:

http://www.savantsystems.com/savant_and_apple.aspx
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 07:24 PM   #54
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Go lutron or z-wave

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Old Dec 20, 2012, 07:38 PM   #55
hipnetic
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I don't believe anyone else mentioned it, so here goes...I did a bit of research on these things recently because my wife was bugging me to give her an Xmas list, and I thought home automation might be fun. Several people here have mentioned solutions that require software (often not cheap) that run on a Mac and require that Mac to be running 24/7. The product I added to my Xmas list was Mi Casa Verde VeraLite which is a network-connected box that handles all of the brain-work. It's optimized for controlling z-wave devices, of which you can get thermostats, door locks, light switches/dimmers, and more. I believe you can also tie into networked cameras. And I believe you can control Insteon and some other devices, too, but I think without 2-way communication compatibility. Whereas, again, it's really optimized to full take advantage of all that Z-Wave devices offer.

I had already bought a Wi-Fi D-Link network cam for about $150 several months back which has a microphone and night-vision. There is already a standalone D-Link app for that, plus I have it set up to send me an email with several still-frames whenever it detects motion. PQ is decent. The back-end software (running on the camera itself - you set it up via a web browser) leaves a lot to be desired, which is where it would be great for a company like Apple to come in and drastically improve that experience. I'm hoping I can view this camera via a central Mi Casa Verde/Z-Wave-compatible iPhone app (it looks like there are several already out there in the App Store).

Getting back to the Mi Casa Verde VeraLite...it sells for about $180. The one knock against it seems to be that setting up "scenes" (e.g., turn on lights A, B, and C when door is unlocked) using it's software (again, I believe this is web browser based) can be tricky. So, again, that's where it would be great if a company like Apple came in. They could take whatever this VeraLite box does and implement it into their AirPort Extreme, so you'd only need the one router box.

In any case...if my wife ends up getting me the VeraLite for Xmas, I'll be playing around with it and see how easy/difficult it is to get working. I'm most interested in controlling a couple of thermostats (about $100-120/each for Z-Wave compatible thermostats) and light switches/dimmers (about $50-85 - ouch). That's my other concern about the whole thing...each little device is kinda pricey, and they can add up to a whole lot of money real quick.

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Old Dec 20, 2012, 09:50 PM   #56
SteveAbootman
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I think it would be awesome if Apple got into this space, but looking at what the potential market could be, it doesn't seem like there's as big a market as Apple typically has been going after.

Within a household, you could have multiple people using multiple Apple devices. If you're selling a product for the home itself, you just sell it once to that home. Compound that with the fact there are many people who don't own their home and are instead renting and may not invest the money in the system (due to potential ROI and the fact it may require some installation) and your potential buyers shrink.

Just doesn't seem like something Apple would do. They may leverage different components or technologies, but entire home automation from Apple seems like a pipe dream. I'd love to be wrong though!
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 10:27 PM   #57
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This market is really small now but if, or should I say when, properly implemented, will be big. I'm sure major players are looking into it. Will apple enter the market? I sure hope so. Home surveillance, computer network, entertainment, appliances and automation are a disjointed mess and sooner or later will be integrated.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 11:29 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Patriot24 View Post
I think that's the opportunity - accessibility for the average Joe.

NEST has made great strides in removing the intimidation of changing a thermostat by providing the right tools and education for novice users. Could the same be done utilizing long-life batteries in small, networked devices that could be deployed throughout your home to provide automation features?
Changing a thermostat is no more complicated than wiring a plug and because it's a self-contained control box it can be modified to be wireless. The same is true for light switches. They only control one simple device.

When you are looking at other parts of a home that have more complex functions and are not wired into the house construction already, then you need a professional. Batteries won't cut it because for motorized areas like curtains and doors; they would drain too quickly.

Appliances need some kind of integrated communication with a control device. That's where Control4 has been working. Otherwise Apple would have to first build up a significant partner list to implement the protocols and then release some kind of hub that would manage everything from power to operation. You couldn't rely on a router and wifi signal to manage that.

You can see how long that type of adoption would take just based on Airplay adoption now.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 09:01 AM   #59
nabbet
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AirControl

Seems like the obvious solution. Define a standard that other devices could adhere to and support, like they've done with AirPlay. Do it right and we'll see a plethora of new products ranging from lightswitches to coffeemachines with support.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 09:13 AM   #60
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Home automation is a great area for expansion. Think what Apple has done so far has been life-changing? Think of what they could do with home automation.
If apple came out with something like this, I would purchase it with no hesitation. The ease of use and hassle free setup that they have on existing products put them over android for me (I have a buddy with a android/windows 7 ecosystem and my apple setup is wayyyyy better).

I could only imagine how they would takeover home automation
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 09:14 AM   #61
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My vision is full house Automation. It should know where I am and light up the rooms as I walk through them. And someday the temp. My wife likes it cold and I like it warmer.
Jarvis would be freakin sweet and I think we re headed that way fast. If Apple is the company that does this then great, if not oh well.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 09:16 AM   #62
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I would absolutely love this if it could be done right.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 09:17 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Aeolius View Post
or perhaps Leap Motion
That is pretty amazing...Looks like the company is a pretty big fan of Apple in terms of design.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 09:26 AM   #64
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I don't usually wade into these speculative product threads, but... I think many of you are looking far down the road into possibilities, which may or may not exist. More immediate, I think the AppleTV needs to have a way to control the other devices it is connected to. I would bet apple will put the talent and technology it acquires into developing an easy, fool proof, multi-manufacturer, compatible way of controlling AV receivers, cable boxes (maybe not this one), dvd players, tvs, etc.

I use a harmony remote, and it works fine, but if you can say, Siri, lets play a game, and it turns on the TV, the receiver to the correct input, etc... Or Siri, can you play this music through the whole house except for the front porch. and it would manage turning on other amplifiers, airplay settings, etc. The hard part will be getting apple to acknowledge that this can't just be a closed eco system, it is going to have to work with other products

I think that is the first step, unifying the control structure of the livingroom/hometheater. Then maybe lighting, but I doubt it. I work a lot with lighting and dimmers and control technologies - new homes that aren't custom won't be built with the new technology (like motorized breaker panels, and central control structures and energy management) 'cause it is too expensive and the average consumer won't know what it is. Custom homes alone aren't a large enough market. Having your control at the end of the distribution (in the bulb, x10 modules, insteon, etc) would require way too many models of product, Apple is about simplicity.

Perhaps there is an iCloud like portal, and some custom libraries that interpet signals from an apple tv into control signals for specific appliances at your house. Those get sent bck to the appleTV from the cloud where they are broadcast to your network aware technology...
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 10:09 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by ollyb View Post
This is good. X10 is like a bajillion years old and still hardly anyone uses it. We need something better.
There are better alternatives... like Insteon. But in reality, the market for home automation is small - limited to rich home owners and geeks.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeolius View Post
or perhaps Leap Motion
At 69.99 I think the price is right!

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Originally Posted by Benjamins View Post
You know who Apple should buy?
Nest.
Until more homes have zoned duct work, Nest won't work all that well.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 10:10 AM   #66
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There are better alternatives... like Insteon. But in reality, the market for home automation is small - limited to rich home owners and geeks.
The tablet market was pretty small before the iPad came out.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 10:11 AM   #67
ncaissie
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If Apple can simplify things that would be awesome.
I want my TV to pause or my phone to buzz when someone rings the doorbell then have my phone and/or TV to show me the person. That would be great. Then I want simple but complete control over TV, Light, Thermostat, Stove, Blinds, faucets and such. But I want it to be smart like turn on and off as I enter rooms or say a command. I want it to do things like Siri and keep track of my schedule and leave messages for the wife and kids.

I know there are pieces of tech out there that do all this but it would be nice to have it in one package before I die. I think when I build my house I will incorporate these things.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 11:04 AM   #68
mike-sr29
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This is already being done with the ISY 994 IR Pro from Universal-Devices. A small black box that plugs into your router. Works on all iOS devices and android.

Creston may be more polished but you can write simple programs to turn lights on and off, in response to motion sensor input, HVAC, unlock doors and connect with the alarm system. Apple could make it work easier.

The community is very helpful for all questions. I grew up from X10 to this and very glad I found it.

It connects to your IP cameras to turn on and off notifications if you are in the house. I use it with Logitech Alert cameras to simply turn off the camera when my HOME program is turned on. The AWAY program turns off the lights and notifies when motion is detected in the house.

What if you are headed Home and Siri could detect your distance and turn on HVAC and then when you are within 50 feet turn on lights to guide you to the house and into house and turn off after motion is no longer detected outside.

This is awesome for Apple regardless of program they buy.

Yes, I'm an Apple, ISY 994 IR PRO, Logitech Alert NUT. We use the Mobilinc APP.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 11:05 AM   #69
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This is good. X10 is like a bajillion years old and still hardly anyone uses it. We need something better.
Absolutely! X10 is unreliable and too many devices simply don't work.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 11:09 AM   #70
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Apple should buy AMX its a much better company.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 11:16 AM   #71
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Ain't that the truth. $150+ Billion doesn't buy what it used to, I guess.

Maybe Apple thinks they have something to bring home automation more into the mainstream? Makes me wonder what they think they have to offer grow what is an awfully niche market?
Well, the retail price for a 9" Crestron touchpad is in the thousands. An iPad is $500. That's a pretty good market "offer" if you ask me.

I've been waiting for a push by somebody in the home control market since the iPad was announced. Perhaps Apple is finally doing something.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 12:16 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by ncaissie View Post
My vision is full house Automation. It should know where I am and light up the rooms as I walk through them.
INSTEON Wireless Motion Sensor

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAT View Post
I've been waiting for a push by somebody in the home control market since the iPad was announced.
Indigo Touch
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 01:27 PM   #73
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Seems like another brand/concept/application will turn to crap...
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 01:31 PM   #74
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It is going to be interesting to see what impact apple will try to make in home entertainment.

They have the devices in place to have a full system running, a few adjustments with a new product could make it take off.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 05:58 PM   #75
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Savant Systems would be a better acquisition:

http://www.savantsystems.com/savant_and_apple.aspx
I agree wholeheartedly. Savant would be a great acquisition for Apple.
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