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Apple patents a truly smart home that sets itself up

In a new patent, Apple shows an example of a really smart house in which there are various walls equipped with various plugs and switches that can automatically configure themselves. Anyone who has tried to tinker with devices for the Smart Home and technologies such as HomeKit and the like knows well that for the management of hubs / gateways such as Apple TV, iPad and Homepod you need to log in from iCloud with your Apple ID on each device, then activate the iCloud and Home Keychain options in iCloud settings and add the various accessories (sensors, switchers, lamps, etc.) in the Home app by simply framing the codes (the various devices must obviously be on and nearby).

After adding the accessory on the iOS device, it is possible to modify the information from the iOS device or from Mac, changing the name of the accessory and the room associated with it. It is also possible to organize the accessories in groups, for example the lights, to control them as a single accessory.

At this point you can manage the accessories with the Home app or with Siri, find and adjust additional settings, such as brightness, color and temperature, control the home even from outside with a home hub with HomePod, Apple TV or iPad. Installation and configuration can be very complex when dealing with devices and accessories from different brands.

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The new rather substantial Apple patent entitled "Object tracking and authentication using modular wall units", reported by 9to5Mac.

In the initial description Cupertino explains that the configuration of a Smart Home presents various problems: the differentiation of the brands and their incompatibilities, the different connection modes, the communication protocols used, the connections and the types of connectors used, differences in the hardware configurations / software and system setup in general, all elements that, on the whole, can discourage the user.

Even the most accustomed to technology may find it difficult due to non-intuitive and often annoyingly frustrating procedures to complete the complete configuration of a smart home. Moreover, some networks for Smart home often have to be reconfigured, sometimes even in a profound way, as old and new generation devices are integrated.

Despite the many advantages that smart home technology brings, Apple explains, there is a need for smart home systems that allow consumers without technical knowledge to more easily customize, resize and reconfigure objects in their smart homes, more simply and intuitively.

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The Apple patent refers to various ways to automatically detect the presence and position of inanimate objects such as sofas but also people, a useful mechanism to automatically generate building plans without the need for user interaction.

Once the system knows the floor plan, it can make intelligent assumptions about the purpose of the various Smart Home kits as they are added. β€œFor example,” explains Apple, β€œin response to a particular switch (eg the light switch of a modular accessory) installed in a particular host unit, the system can auto-configure the command button to check the activity of a specific light element in a particular room after establishing that the switch is in a specific room and that no other lighting elements or switches are present in the said room ".

In a nutshell, by installing a smart light switch in the dining room, the system can automatically configure it to control the lights in the dining room, simply asking the user for permission. The component referred to as the "modular wall panel" refers to what appear to be standard basic units such as power outlets or powered light switches, elements around which it is possible to combine a variety of different hardware units. As mentioned, the very deep, extended patent (here more details from the site PatentlyApple) and would require the collaboration of many different companies to turn the idea into reality.

Apple patents a truly smart home that sets itself up

The system we see above resembles a bit of a BTicino prototype that was shown to us a few years ago on the occasion of the launch of the Eliot line: a central module populated by modular switches that freely combine on the edges to build a control system overall and on the wall surface.

The vision of Apple in any case interesting and Cupertino has all the credentials to convince third parties to collaborate on an interesting and broad project like this. At this address our article on Apple home automation on the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch, with various details on how to connect accessories of all types.

As always, we remember that Apple files and registers hundreds of patents every year and these are not always transformed into products that are actually marketed.

To know all the news on Apple patents, refer to our dedicated section. On the other hand, for all smart home and home automation accessories, the section of macitynet dedicated CasaVerdeSmart is available.