Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that Apple may be beefing up its range of smart home devices:
The company is seeking engineers to work in its Cupertino, California, headquarters and in San Diego as part of a group revamping Apple’s smart-home platform. The overhaul is designed to spur more outside accessory and appliance makers to connect smart-home products such as lights and garage doors with the iPhone and Apple’s voice-activated digital assistant, Siri. The team also is exploring the possibility of building new home devices beyond the HomePod speaker.
The last part of that is obviously the most interesting. I’ve been advocating Apple build its own HomeKit devices for a while now, in large part because I think it behooves the company to lead by example. If it wants to tell its customers a compelling story about why they should invest in smart home tech, then it needs to do a better job demonstrating its advantages. This is a company that prides itself on controlling the whole widget, but it’s left HomeKit tech up to third parties to date.
It also helps Apple differentiate its offerings from those of rivals by emphasizing its focus on privacy and security. With the addition of HomeKit-compatible routers and secure video camera storage, Apple’s started to make inroads in this direction, but it’s been missing out on part of the equation. This could help push over the edge those potential customers who have been holding out because of their concerns about the integrity of such devices.