Mix the desire of homeowners to do anything, anywhere at any time with the allure of “gee whiz” technology and throw in the obsession of some Joneses to stay ahead of their neighbors and you get business opportunities for dealers, integrators and installers who sell to the home market.
No one knows today’s exact number, but count on more than 145,000 applications for the iPhone. No doubt, there are silly ones and apps that no one uses, but there are what Apple folks label as home automation and home security applications, too. Earlier this year, Apple dropped another headline-making shoe with its iPad, which will work with almost all of the apps designed for the iPhone.
Developers, including traditional home tech firms and new faces, are working on new apps designed specifically for these devices.
And as Apple and its application store goes, so go other competitors as well as homeowners whose iPhone envy is matched only with their desire to unlatch their Iowa back door from a Paris vacation and to adjust a Park City second home’s HVAC during a Miami Beach dinner party. Apple smart phone competitor Samsung opened its own U.S. application store during the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show, as yet another example.
Don’t assume home tech apps all fall into the category of inexpensive “simple Simon” gameware. For instance, a $900 iPhone app, an intuitive video command center, allows users to configure, view, and control an unlimited number of live camera feeds on an iPhone or iPod touch. And what about the iPad? While some futurists see mom curling up before the fire to read a good book with it, some others believe today’s Jetsons family will be using it to turn on the gas fireplace, manage the home network and play the latest hit from Lady Ga Ga. It some ways, the iPad is just a larger display format iPhone. Tablets such as the new iPad from Apple have limited computer power, but have the muscle to handle communications, home controls and applications already established for little sister iPhone.