Apple is looking for a team of people to work on smart home devices and software. The company has posted 15 job listings for their office in Cupertino, California and has recruited candidates privately. Although Apple was ahead of the game in creating it’s voice assistant Siri and launching the HomeKit in 2014, the company has lagged behind Amazon and Google when it comes to smart home devices and skills. The team hired will expand to products like smart light bulbs, garage door sensors, and other Internet of Things devices, according to a report from Yahoo Finance.
According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, the current smart home market share is as follows:
- Amazon smart speakers: 70%
- Google speakers: 20%
- Apple HomePod speaker: 5%.
Andreas Gal, former Chief Technology Officer of Mozilla, is in charge of the effort to expand Apple’s smart home division. He joined Apple when his company Silk Labs, which uses artificial intelligence to sync connected devices, was bought by Apple. Aside for the push for more smart home devices, Apple is also working on a self-driving car, an augmented reality headset, an iPhone with 5G support plus computers that work on custom chips from the company as opposed to Intel Corp processors.
Apple Joins Smart Home Networking Group
In the summer of 2018, Apple joined Thread Group, an organization that helps companies standardize their low power mesh networking solutions for IoT products. Thread can be in the form of Bluetooth, Z-wave or Zigbee connectivity. As most of these connected devices are wireless, they rely on batteries, making minimizing power consumption essential to compete with Amazon and Google. In the same vein, Apple joined the Wireless Charging Consortium before releasing the first iPhones, allowing for inductive charging. Although Apple is currently the underdog when it comes to smart home, users can expect a large expansion of Apple-branded smart home devices and software.