What is Apple (AAPL) planning for the internet of things (IoT)?

By on July 10, 2013
Apple's IOT Strategy

What is Apple (AAPL) planning for the internet of things (IoT)?

This may seem like an irrelevant question given that an iPhone is – by definition – part of the internet of things. However, Apple likely has more up its sleeve than the hundreds of millions of iOS devices already connecting the planet.

Is the iWatch the next connected internet-of-thing for Apple?
Tim Cook has publicly given a thumbs up for wearable computing. Clearly, a connected watch as a second screen would extend Apple’s device footprint.

However, unlike current offerings from Pebble, I believe that it is essential for this “iWatch” device to connect via a cellular network on its own, without a need for a local iPhone. Google Glass – for example – suffers from this deficiency.

Not requiring a bluetooth connection would make an “iWatch” much more useful. For example, when I go running or work-out, I’d like to just wear my watch and use FaceTime if I need to call someone. If a phone is required, the utility is greatly reduced. (However, there is a chance that Apple may make an interim step and allow connectivity to the new iPad Nano, which was updated last year to support Bluetooth.)

Or, for example, if a business wants their technicians to wear an iWatch, which would act as a electronic key, a tracker and a Star-Trek like communication device, they can do so without requiring a bluetooth connection.

AppleTV/Display/iTV is also essential

The home/office/manufacturing facility is in desperate need of a stationary device which can act as a display and a gateway for connected “things”. Imagine a big iPad (aka an Apple Display) hanging on the wall of a manufacturing facility, interacting with connected devices. Machines could easily utilize inexpensive, low energy bluetooth to connect instead of more expensive cellular or wi-fi connections.

Connected Watch + Apple TV = IoT Strategy

With a connected watch acting as an always-on hub for your personal devices and an Apple TV as a connected hub for stationary devices, Apple would be executing an incredibly powerful IoT strategy.

Additionally, Apple would likely utilize their ecosystem to create unique software around the experience. For example, Apple can even create a “game center” (thing center?) equivalent for controlling and managing connected objects.

Is this the evolution of GameCenter

Apple’s IoT App?

With these pieces in place, Apple can expand on their “app enabled accessories” initiative with all sorts of connected devices, which would be even smarter and more connected than they are today.

 

 

About MikeZeinfeld

Mike Zeinfeld is the CEO of Complemedia, Inc. Complemedia develops proprietary media channels for niche audiences using technology. Current projects include IoT ventures such as www.thabble.com and www.thingcheck.com

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