Apple home automation?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Black Diesel, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2011
    Will it ever happen? Not sure if it's possible without getting into the lighting/lock/thermostat/home security business, which they will never do. But it would be amazing if apple came out with something like this that worked flawlessly with all systems in the home inlcuding all apple devices:
  2. macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    This would, at the very least, require home automation to be a popular market to begin with. It isn't.
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2011
    Of course it has never been a big market because it has always costed tens of thousands of dollars to buy/integrate home automation systems. However, as technology advances and systems get cheaper/easier, it will become a HUGE market.

    The cost of the system will dictate how big/popular that market becomes. 10K entry? Not many takers. 1-2K entry? Millions of takers.

    One could probably say the tablet market was not a popular market either....then came the iPad.
  4. macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    you can already get a decent system for $2k

    using homeseer, and zwave it can be done

    homeseer, atom based computer (low power and low cost) (optional if you have one) and a zwave interface are about 700-800 for all of them, knock off 250-300 if you have a computer.

    then light switches are $50-100
    thermostats $150-200
    sensors (motion/temperature, door/window) are also in the $75-100 range
    locks $200.

    granted for $2000 you're not going to control a whole lot, but it can get you started.
  5. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Depends "how automated" your expectation is.

    The more control u expect, the more it has to be built into the house, more built-ins means licensed/insured contractors$$$.
  6. macrumors 65816

    Aug 28, 2013
    Apple is a truly remarkable company they could do anything.
  7. macrumors 68030


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    That's like saying Apple shouldn't have come out with a personal music player until that was a popular product - or a smartphone until that was a popular product - or a tablet computer until that was a popular product. Frequently Apple CREATES the popularity.
  8. mslide, Sep 5, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    That's way too specialized a market for apple to bother with and too expensive for the average person. Even if Apple did it at a reasonable cost, you're talking about light switches, thermostats, installation, etc. The average person won't pay thousands of dollars just to be able to control their garage door from their iPhone. The standard garage door opener (and light switch, thermostat, etc) work just fine.

    This isn't like when Apple came out with the iPod, iPhone and iPad. It's not like they could come up with a $200 device that requires no installation and magically automates your home.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 22, 2007
    New York City
    thanks for the post!

    this looks awesome, will definitely order one..this will make my life easier:D
  10. macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2012
    Exactly. I am looking to do z-wave deadbolts and lever handle door locks soon. The deadbolts and lever handled locking door handles from schlage or kwikset are in the $170 range with Z-Wave. Zigbee (just another wireless tech) is a little more I think.

    You can get a controller from Mi Casa Verde for under $200 that gives you free internet control of all attached components.

    Add some lighting controls and power outlets and your done.
  11. macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    One of the reasons this may not take off from a mass market point of view is that everyone has different needs and different setups. Each home is wired differently. There are mass market solutions for simpler tasks, such as turning a plug-in light on and off with your iPhone (Belkin WeMo for example), or changing your thermostat (Nest).

    Generally you start with a few independent devices like this and you start adding onto them as needed. Once you have more than a half-dozen units like the WeMos (or older devices that accomplish the same thing, such as from Z-Wave, Insteon, X11, etc.) it starts to make sense to start using a home automation controller (such as HomeSeer) to manage sets of devices. You can then add scripts or timed actions to do things like command the lighting levels in different rooms of your house to do certain things, like turn on when you get home from work, or turn on/off on a vacation timer.

    The people who install home automation setups generally fall into two categories: geeky tinkerers like myself, who would be comfortable setting up scripts and programming I/O modules, or professional installers, who are hired on behalf of someone who says "just make it happen". (And typically these people are willing to pay fairly big bucks.) Apple has traditionally been good at breaking into this sort of space and making it easier for the end-user to get it done, so that could be Apple's contribution to this space. But this would be way more of a hobby than even Apple TV was.
  12. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2011

    Yeah, I realize there are a some DIY options out there but this market is really starting to explode with new systems/options that are affordable to those who can't spend 10K+ for a nice system. The market will grow as result. If only Apple was interested, they could put everyone out of business with their simplicity and user friendly interface amongst devices. Control your home with your iPhone, without having to pay thousands of dollars for different lighting/hvac/audio/video/surveillance systems to be programmed by a certified Crestron technician.

    It seems like it's not a big market at the moment, but it will soon be popular in most households as it catches on and gets more affordable.
  13. macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2008
  14. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2011
    Exactly. Turn on the jacuzzi from the bar before your taxi ride home with someone will be warm when you get home, ready for action.
  15. macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2013
    This is a market that has a lot of potential. Just needs a big name to make it popular and easy to do. Belkin has the WeMo, Phillips has the Hue, Logitech has the remote, there's Nest and ecobee thermostats, but nothing that can bring everything together and easy to configure... Yet.

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