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Apple’s complex patent seeks to automate your entire house



Apple is dreaming of turning your home into an “iHouse.” Apple recently filed a rather complex patent that would track your location with your mobile devices and then use this data to intelligently control other devices at a given location.

For example, your phone could signal your house that you are home and your house would turn on a lamp and adjust the thermostat to your preferred settings. Apple’s invention is rooted in location data. Your position can be gathered from any number of outlets: computer login, an iPhone transmitting GPS coordinates, or cell tower triangulation, among others.

apple patent

Automate all of the things!

With Apple’s patent, everything in your home, from your television to your tablet; your washing machine to your front door locks, would be able to communicate through a hub device. By using “trigger” devices and events, such as pulling in to the driveway and your lights come on and the door unlocks, your home would be able to preemptively respond, allowing you to do less when you arrive home.

The system hopes to do more than just simplify your life by eliminated the need to turn knobs or flip switches; it wants to adapt to your needs and preferences. This would allow it to intuitively adapt to changing circumstances: temperature, musical preference, lighting, etc., seamlessly, with no effort from the user.

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Why does Apply want to automate your home?

If you look at it from a business perspective, this would open up a whole new market for “iHouse” apps. Also, they would also be able to sell the data they collect from tracking yourself, your movements, and your in-home device usage to companies. This sounds like a good business plan, but from the user side, it also raises some questions: what measures will be in place to keep someone from “hacking” your system and using this information to their advantage, such as thieves.

What type of privacy settings will be offered, so wary users can “opt-out” of having their information public knowledge? How much would it cost to buy an iHouse system and how much would it cost to maintain it (is it going to run up my electrical bill, etc.)? Once Apple gets rolling, it will be interesting to see how this is implemented, because all concerns aside, I think it is a pretty cool idea.

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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