Apple's partners in home automation
On Monday, Apple welcomed the audience attending its Worldwide Developers Conference, with a full schedule packed with software updates announcements.
Home automation platform HomeKit has been one of the conference highlights, as it seems to hold the promise for a whole new range of home automation devices.
Apple HomeKit is not the first to break grounds in home automation, as Google pioneered the technology with the introduction of Android, more than three years ago, but never got quite as far as it could have, had it not been for additional hardware requirements, an extra step consumers did not respond to very enthusiastically.
Whether or not HomeKit becomes a success, it appears that a range of manufacturers are showing interest regardless, as they see the potential growth of home automation into a whole new market, so far limited to only few domestic appliances with limited Internet-based capabilities, home security/surveillance solutions, and smart home entertainment to name a few.
The true innovation will be brought by a spur of truly revolutionary concepts in the realm of wearable interfaces and true domestic connectivity and appliance control.
Among the tech companies showing interest in creating these devices, Broadcom and Marvell take the lead.
While Broadcom has a solid history of manufacturing chips for Android devices, Broadcom and Apple already have an established relationship as its Wireless Internet Connectivity for Internet Enabled Devices, or WICED, platform is designed to function with Apple products by default.
According to Marvell’s press release (available here), the company is already gearing up to design many devices including: “wearables, home automation, home security, personal health care, smart appliances, accessories and remote controls, automotive, lighting, industrial Internet, and more,", and not a day had passed since Apple announcement of HomeKit, that Marvell unveiled “ZigBee”, a private networking protocol featuring Marvell EZ-Connect platform.
Broadcom and Marvell are only two companies mentioned by Apple at the WWDC, but there are many more looking to create the next generation of home automation devices, in an industry expected to be worth as much as 14.4 Trillion dollars.