I have a pet theory. Apple’s next great thing may not be a single thing in the traditional sense, ala iPhone, iPad, et al, but more of a collective of things for the home.
iThink, Therefore, iAm
I say stealth because Apple has BLE in every iPhone going back to the iPhone 4S, so nearly 200-million Apple customers have the technology already.
Apple has already turned on iBeacon in a number of Apple Stores. Basically, it works this way.
With your iPhone on, Bluetooth on, and the Apple Store app open, as you walk around the store you can get specific messages pop up from Apple.
Not only is Apple able to track you, the company could customize proximity ad messages and promotions right to your phone.
Wait. There’s more!
iBeacon, iWi-Fi, iCloud Home
The key to iBeacon is the simple way where one device can communicate with another. Yes, it’s good for in-store promotions, but it could also be good inside the home.
I’m thinking iCloud Home. Check out Apple’s new Airport Extreme. It looks a bit like a very tall Mac mini or very tall Apple TV but in white. There’s not much inside and plenty of room for storage. Instead of the 1,000 photo limit to the online iCloud, why not have an automatic backup and storage, via Wi-Fi in the home, to a terabyte or two of data?
Coupled to iCloud Home and iWi-Fi for in home cloud storage, there’s iBeacon which could be used by other household devices to connect and communicate to your iMac, iPhone, iPad (I could have used MacBook instead of iMac, but I’m on an iEverything kick today).
Think of what this could do. It could unlock or open a door as you approach, Star Trek-like. Or, turn on lights as you enter a room (using your iWatch or iGlasses to trigger the light switch, maybe with a wink or a wrist wiggle). Or, turn on, suspend, or turn off music, appliances, the television and other devices.
The idea here is that future Apple devices and apps won’t just communicate with us, they’ll communicate with each other based upon our proximity. That’s the future and Apple is poised to pull all the pieces together starting now with iBeacon.