Apple has big plans for HomeKit and the Home app on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS devices as evidenced by two patent filings.
Apple’s HomeKit is a framework that allows control of compatible home automation devices, Home is the app that allows you to operate the controls.
Patent number 20200301378 is for “deducing floor plans using modular wall units.” Apple’s goal is to make ie easier to configure a small home system. For instance, the differentiation of brands and their incompatibilities between each other, differing connection and communication protocols, wiring and connector types, hardware/software configurations, and general system set up can be daunting to the average consumer.
What’s more, smart home networks often need to be reconfigured, sometimes extensively, as old equipment is replaced with new equipment. Apple says that despite the many advantages that smart home technology brings to society, there is a need for smart home systems that can allow lay-consumers to more easily customize, scale, and reconfigure their homes in a more effortless and user friendly manner.
Here’s the summary of the invention: “In some embodiments, a method comprises receiving floor plan data corresponding to at least one of a location, dimensions, or orientation of one or more walls defining at least one room of a building; receiving sensor data corresponding to detected activity within the at least one room of the building; determining a type of the at least one room of the building based on the detected activity; and modifying the floor plan data to include the determined type of the at least one of the one or more rooms, wherein a visual representation of the floor plan data is operable to be output on a display device. The method can further include determining an area of the at least one room of the building, where determining the type of the at least one room can be further based on the area of the at least one room.
Patent number 20200301499 is for an “automated environment providing feedback based on user routine.” This would allow your interactions with HomeKit-compatible accessories to provide feedback to you based on your usage patterns.
Examples include: suggesting automation of particular actions based on the patterns; suggesting actions that conform to the pattern when the user performs part of the pattern; or suggesting changes to a pattern to conform to a preferred pattern. A state of the group of accessory devices can be changed together based on the pattern of accessory state changes for the group of accessory devices.