CES 2014: Air Conditioner Debuts as First Smart Appliance 'MFi Licensed' for iOS Compatibility

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Chinese appliance manufacturer Haier today announced that it has become the first such company to be accepted into Apple's MFi licensing program to certify compatibility with iOS devices. Haier's Tianzun cabinet air conditioning unit is the first appliance to carry the MFi designation, with expansion to other Haier appliances coming in the future.
Haier's Tianzun air conditioner is the first air conditioner and white good [major appliance] that is authorized by Apple's MFi program. Haier will use this technology in the other Haier products, such as water heaters, ovens, intelligent home accessories and the like. Users will be able to complete the setup simply by connecting to WiFi. The live demonstration showed that Haier's air conditioner could match the phone automatically and the user could set up parameters for the air conditioner directly without registration, setup password or any other complicated and time-consuming operations when connected to WiFi. And that brings consumers a simple, efficient experience of using smart appliances.
While smart appliances capable of being controlled through iOS devices are not new, a move by manufacturers to join Apple's MFi program may help give consumers confidence that the products meet Apple's standards for compatibility and functionality. The licensing program is already in wide use for such products as charging accessories, speaker docks, and more recently game controllers, but Haier's announcement today indicates that the program is poised for even greater adoption as the burgeoning market for connected home appliances continues to expand.

Article Link: CES 2014: Air Conditioner Debuts as First Smart Appliance 'MFi Licensed' for iOS Compatibility
 

crackbookpro

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Feb 25, 2009
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Things of this nature are geared more for an iWatch feature... Or more practial with an iWatch.

The iTV needs to come to your home(as Data Speeds increase across many countries, if not the globe). Then real need could be harnessed through an iWatch.

It will be like the TV remote in the 70's... First a cool "want"... Then a luxury... Then a desired "need".

After the Nest thermo & CO2 products link, so does all household appliances like this Haier co, outdoor/indoor lights, etc... And it is all harnessing the new capabilities. Perhaps opening your garage door can only happen with both an iPhone & iWatch.

Also, purchases may have just changed... The wallet is going bye byes, and maybe all you need is your iPhone and the new iWatch to make transactions across the globe. This would be the biggest change in the market that Apple could nonetheless spearhead with Touch ID deriving from aquiring Authentec 2 summers ago.

Other item is - can Qualcomm and/or other co's produce sole super-efficient GPS chips without the need for A-GPS?

The world may change again within 18months from Apple... Brick n' mortar stores will catch up quickly too.
 

Small White Car

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I'm a huge fan of my WEMO plugs. So, obviously, you can do stuff like this already without this certification, but anything that makes these kind of things easier and more widespread is good news to me.
 

KdParker

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So does this mean that we will either have to buy a i0S or Android/Windows appliances?

I like smart appliances, but we seem to be putting the cart before the horse.

Shouldn't we create standards for connectivity to 'smart appliances' so that other platforms can control/monitor our appliances?
 
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goodvibes11

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Jan 8, 2014
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Not the first MFI Appliance

I know for a fact that this is not indeed the first home appliance that is certified by the MFI program.

The iPhone controlled TopBrewer coffee machine, which a friend of mine is working for, were the first in the world to introduce such a product. See here. TopBrewer.com
 

somethingelsefl

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Dec 22, 2008
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If the "MFi" designation is going to be this adaptable, then it needs a name that is more encompassing. For example "Made for Apple" or "Made for iOS" or "Made for Mac and iOS"
 

Parasprite

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Mar 5, 2013
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I'm assuming these setups don't require a secondary app to function? I suppose that something in the lines of a miniature web server (in the same manner of routers/modems) would serve for easy compatibility... however if this requires a second app it will, like much of these technologies, sit in a folder as no more than a "gee whiz!" curiosity...
 

Solomani

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No passwords?

THE HORROR......THE HORROR
Imagine if this had been a 'Smart Internet-connected Digital Refrigerator' and you locked it with a password. Of course an internet-connected fridge NEEDS to be password-encrypted, just to make sure the NSA won't have an easy time having access to your leftover pizza and ice cream.

And then one day, you couldn't remember the password…. uh oh…
 

kingtj

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We'd pay extra for such a thing ....

A fridge I can remotely lock/unlock? It'd pay for itself in a matter of only weeks, keeping the kids from raiding it before we get home from work each day!


Imagine if this had been a 'Smart Internet-connected Digital Refrigerator' and you locked it with a password. Of course an internet-connected fridge NEEDS to be password-encrypted, just to make sure the NSA won't have an easy time having access to your leftover pizza and ice cream.

And then one day, you couldn't remember the password…. uh oh…
 

JAT

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Dec 31, 2001
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So does this mean that we will either have to buy a i0S or Android/Windows appliances?

I like smart appliances, but we seem to be putting the cart before the horse.

Shouldn't we create standards for connectivity to 'smart appliances' so that other platforms can control/monitor our appliances?
I think we're fine. Wifi is a standard, the appliance maker needs to write their own software on all platforms they wish to support.
 

KdParker

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I think we're fine. Wifi is a standard, the appliance maker needs to write their own software on all platforms they wish to support.
That is not a standard for controlling appliances that is just a standard for connecting to the internet and appliance manufacturers aren't in the business of writing software.

If there were a standard set of interfaces that could be added by any smart appliance maker, then it would be up to developers to create the controls. Regardless of the platform.
 
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JAT

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That is not a standard and appliance makers aren't in the business of writing software.

If there were a standard set of interfaces that could be added by any smart appliance maker, then it would be up to developers to create the controls. Regardless of the platform.
:confused: They can hire "developers". (and apparently did) If that's what they want to do. Just like any other new concept they may wish to apply to their products.

If you want to develop this interface, go for it. But I really doubt you can do this freelance and suddenly have Rheem, GE, Samsung, etc. beating down your door to use it.
 
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KdParker

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:confused: They can hire "developers". If that's what they want to do. Just like any other new concept they may wish to apply to their products.

If you want to develop this interface, go for it. But I really doubt you can do this freelance and suddenly have Rheem, GE, Samsung, etc. beating down your door to use it.

And wifi certainly is many standards. What are you talking about?
As I stated in my correction, WIFI is a standard for connecting to the internet, not a standard for controlling appliances.

Why wouldn't the manufacturers you mentioned not be on board with this kind of standard? With a standard in place, manufacturers wouldn't have to worry about tying thier products to one specific technology and/or a companies OS.
 

BrentD

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Jun 25, 2010
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I know for a fact that this is not indeed the first home appliance that is certified by the MFI program.

The iPhone controlled TopBrewer coffee machine, which a friend of mine is working for, were the first in the world to introduce such a product. See here. TopBrewer.com
The announcement never said such a thing. A coffee maker is not a "major appliance". It said:
Haier's Tianzun air conditioner is the first air conditioner and white good [major appliance] that is authorized by Apple's MFi program.
 
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