Apple is accelerating recruitment for a team that works on new software and devices for the smart home in an attempt to make up for the gap that has been accumulated in this sector with Google and Amazon. The two giants dominate the Smart Home, and Apple does not want to lose contact. Here's what it prepares.
The multinational is looking for engineers to work in the Cupertino, California and San Diego offices, to form a group to renovate the smart home platform. The revision designed to stimulate a greater number of manufacturers of accessories and appliances to support HomeKit, so that they can be controlled via iPhone, iPad, other Apple devices, as well as by voice via Siri.
At the moment, the renewal efforts are led by Andreas Gal, the former Chief Technology Officer of Mozilla, who joined Apple last year, when his company Silk Labs was bought by the iPhone manufacturer.
Currently, Apple has published 15 job advertisements looking for engineers to work on HomeKit, smart-home devices and related software. This should allow the company to gain importance in the smart home market, which is essential to convince users to buy iPhones and iPads, which would become real remote controls for the control of household appliances and devices within the home.
We recall that Apple first committed itself in the field of smart home in 2014, with the launch of HomeKit, a platform connected to Siri that connects smart devices to Apple products such as iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and HomePod. Apple offers a "Home" app on most of its devices, allowing users to lock and unlock doors, connect to sprinklers, open shutters and control media on TV, as well as turn lights on and off, use speakers with AirPlay protocol and more.
At the moment, smart home devices with Apple's HomeKit support are competing against dozens of offers from competitors, such as Amazon's Echo and Nest Hub Max and Google, as Bloomberg notes. More importantly, the smart home ecosystems of Amazon and Google are much larger than those of Cupertino. Apple lists around 450 devices compatible with HomeKit, while Amazon claims that Alexa works with 85,000 products and 9,500 manufacturers. From its, Google states that its home platform works with over 10,000 devices from over 1,000 different brands. Apple's approval process for third-party accessories is known to be more rigorous than others, and this could also curb producers in adopting the Apple platform.
If you look at the smart speakers, Apple's HomePod speaker has a 5% market share, very little compared to 70% of Amazon's smart speakers and 20% of Google's, at least according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners reports . In addition, the Apple TV set-top box must counter Google's Chromecast distribution, in addition to Roku's set top box and Amazon's Fire TV.
If Apple wants to return to competing in the field of smart loudspeakers, set top boxes and smart homes, it will have to expand the work team in a targeted way. Some of the newly discovered job offers require aspirants to develop battery-powered wireless devices with camera modules.
The Apple initiative to optimize the smart home sector is one of many ongoing projects. In fact, La Mela also has a team that works in secret on the technology for the development of self-driving cars, in addition to the one that deals with the development of a viewer for augmented reality, which could accompany the launch of an iPhone with support for 5G networks already next year. According to others the Apple viewer for the augmented reality could already arrive in the first months of next year.
All the news on HomePod can be found starting from this Macitynet page, while in this article the complete presentation of the device. For those interested in the Amazon Echo and Alexa smart speakers in Italy we refer to the Echo Show 5 review, to the presentation of the new Amazon Echo range arriving in Italy and to the first impressions of listening to the new top of the range Ech Studio.