Apple may be considering making its own line of smart home products

A newly granted patent (number 10,951,434) for a “modular wall unit system” shows that Apple is at least considering making its own line of smart home products with its own modular host system with processors and a host unit installed in a support structure of a building. 

As Apple notes in the patent, smart home technology has greatly improved in power and functionality in recent years and can provide an enhanced user experience that can be tailored to meet an individual user’s particular needs. For instance, smart lights, smart security systems, smart entertainment systems, environmental control systems (HVAC), and the like, are becoming more and more customizable and integrated as the internet-of-things (IoT) sets a foothold in modern home designs. 

However, Apple says that configuring a smart home can present many challenges. 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. 

Even technology savvy enthusiasts may be challenged by the non-intuitive and often frustratingly laborious process of configuring a fully integrated smart home. Apple says that, what’s more, smart home networks often need to be reconfigured, sometimes extensively, as old equipment is replaced with new equipment. For theses reasons, the tech giant wants to fill the 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 patent: “The host unit can be configured to receive and house an accessory (e.g., modular accessory) and electrically couple to an electrical source. The host unit can include a power gating module configured to couple electrical power from the electrical source to the accessory, and a communication module configured to communicate with one or more additional host units installed in the building. 

“The one or more processors may be configured to determine a distance between the host unit and each of the one or more additional host units based on the communication with the one or more additional host units, and determine a floor plan of the building based at least on a distance from the host unit to each the one or more additional host units.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.