Apple patent points to smarter, more automated HomeKit functionality, interoperability with homes, vehicles

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Date: Friday, May 13th, 2016, 07:45
Category: Developer, HomeKit, iOS, News, Patents


This could turn into something interesting.

A recently published patent filed by Apple indicates as to Apple’s intention for an “automated environment” in which HomeKit would be able to track the routines of users and implement automated behaviors based on those habits.

As an example, Apple points to the idea of a heating system being enabled at a particular time or when a particular temperature is met. Apple refers to a central “controller” being used to detect these factors, such as an Apple TV remote or other mobile devices. The devices being controlled are referred to as “accessories” in the filing.

The patent also suggests the idea of a light being controlled by a given amount of ambient light, the light level itself serving as a threshold. Apple looks to be wanting to automate as much of the HomeKit environment as possible while avoiding timer and time-based schedules.

Based on a detected aggregate pattern, the coordinator can identify an operational behavior to automate (e.g., turn off the lights when the last user goes to bed) and can implement the automated behavior, e.g., by establishing an automation rule that reflects the detected aggregate pattern.

One of the most interesting elements of the patent is how the document points to “homes, cars or other vehicles, office buildings, campuses having multiple buildings (e.g., a university or corporate campus), etc.” as possible environments for this detection technology.

This, of course, opens doors for speculation. An Apple Car could theoretically incorporate a function such as automatic headlights or activate its heating and cooling systems based on data such as temperatures, intensities and user habits.

Earlier this month it was rumored that Apple plans to introduce a standalone HomeKit app with iOS 10, hinting at the company’s continued interest in expanding the possibilities of the platform. While today’s patent is somewhat vague, it does show that Apple wants to make HomeKit a lot smarter in the near future.

As always, stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via 9to5Mac and PatentlyApple

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