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Apple plots HOME INVASION at WWDC

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Apple is rumoured to have its eye on the smart home market, allowing folks and hackers alike to control lighting, heating and so on in houses and apartments.

And it has at least one patent on the indoor tech.

Crucially, though, today's smart-home rumour has finally aroused some excitement – and lots of stories – ahead of Cupertino's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco next week. It was sparked by this Financial Times report (paywall link).

Fans may or may not be excited: while an Internet of Things push would expose Apple to an investor-pleasing market predicted to embrace anywhere up to 50 billion devices depending on your timeframes and assumptions, it would still likely leave its devoted consumers still yearning for the breathless days when Steve "one more thing" Jobs launched iPhone-grade breakthroughs.

Rather than an exciting new device, a push into home automation would manifest itself as an iOS app (or apps), and an ecosystem of third-party developers pledging their firstborns to whatever backend platform/s, API/s and compatibility rules Apple has on offer.

As Apple Insider complains, today's fragmented IoT-in-the-home market often means a “light requires its own app, while a smart TV needs another” – oh, the humanity!

With both Google and Samsung already in the 'net-connected home-automation market, The Register suggests the sound you can hear is popping: champagne corks in lawyers' offices, and popcorn among patent-watching journalists. ®

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