Last month, Apple announced the rollout of iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch, along with details on the company’s new software and services. What does this mean for those working with technology — both designers/installers and manufacturers/suppliers — in the residential sector?
Members of the CEDIA Technology Council, together with CEDIA senior staff, studied the live keynote and blog feeds to identify several factors that could affect your business.
1. iOS 8 Upgrade May Cause Disruption With Current iOS-Based Systems
Contact your clients now and make them aware that when the iOS 8 upgrade is available (at press time this was scheduled for September 17), they should not upgrade any iOS product that serves as a primary control device without speaking with you. Let them know that this is for their protection, so that you are able to evaluate the impact of this new software on their systems.
Expect service and upgrade calls and use them as an opportunity to recommend backup and verification services for their devices before they upgrade. Be proactive.
2. The Apple Watch Is Poised to Become an Integral Part of the Connected Home
With a re-imagined user interface, location awareness, and other key innovations, the Apple Watch will enable home technology professionals to provide a more personal control experience. Start to think about the wearables market in general and how it will impact all of your clients.
3. Apple iPhone 6 Embraces Near Field Communication (NFC)
The iPhone 6 models bring NFC to the Apple ecosystem. Be aware of how NFC could be utilized in clever ways to activate home controls that interact with physical objects. Keep this in mind as you research products and the implications NFC has with triggered events in access and control systems.
4. Touch ID Released to Third-Party Developers
This is a key element to increase device and data security thanks to two-factor authentication provided by the biometric sensor on iPhone 5s and iPhone 6. Along with Apple’s rollout of new APIs, this will open up huge opportunities for technology integrators as they deploy customized mobile apps in their AV and control system designs using Apple’s HomeKit, HealthKit, CloudKit, and WatchKit development platforms.
Personal data security is a hot topic in the news, along with hacking of connected devices, so think about how this will make your client installations more integrated and secure.
5. It’s a Wi-Fi Phone
A key new iPhone 6 feature is the ability to initiate phone calls using your own phone number, with seamless hand-off between a home’s Wi-Fi network and carrier VoLTE networks. This will impact many areas of communication and possibly place additional burdens on the home network.
6. These Are the First iPhones to Support 802.11ac Wi-Fi
The new iPhone models include 802.11ac support which, in turn, creates opportunities for home technology professionals to upgrade existing client wireless infrastructures for faster and more reliable networking.
CEDIA offers training and certification for networking. Some courses are available online at cedia.net/training. Individuals also may enroll in CEDIA’s Advanced Systems Integration Boot Camp to learn about the advanced networking and systems integration topics critical to delivering successful projects.
If you think you’ve mastered the fundamentals of residential networking, including infrastructure, design, and configuration, then consider taking the CEDIA Residential Networking Specialist Credential exam. Learn more at cedia.net/RNScred.