SECTIONS - Developers Corner
February 11, 2016

Apple's HomeKit: Hot, But Not for The Hot List

Scott Galloway, now a clinical professor or marketing and the keeper of the Digital IQ index, has a YouTube video about the four horseman of marketing aka Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.

In it he talks about Apple’s dominance in marketing as the luxury brand. He points out that engagement begins with the point of purchase and that Apple serves the rich and the people aspiring to be rich. Most amazingly about Apple is that it has expanded its price point over time, which is truly unique for a technology company.

Apple’s success is based on its ability to tie to your self-expressive nature with its sexy designs. Choosing Apple products ties you to elegance and differentiates you from other people. With all this expressed, it’s time to discuss why Apple did not get included in the developers’ Hot List.

The goal of The Hot List was to help IoT developers find tools, not brands. While Apple has a loyal community and app developers that don’t know how to write for anything else, it does not enable developers to work beyond Apple. Now with that said, it would be foolish of me to suggest that the Apple brand is not something worth attaching to. Apple’s Home-Kit is benefiting home sensor systems through brand association.

Making the IoT smart home an Apple-friendly application does not improve the features and functions available from the sensors and controllers, but what it does do is make Apple users active users. Talking with Rod McLane, senior director of marketing at Ayla Networks, we focused on Apple’s impact on the IoT business.

One place where it has a market corroboration impact is with beacon technology. While other products are out there, Apple beacons are creating markets and impacting home systems. For example, Hunter Fans are being managed and isolated with an iPhone app and beacons to help manage proximity. Other companies like Salus and United Technologies have embraced interfacing to Apple’s iPhone.

While NEST may look elegant, the product is still somewhat remote, but connecting with Apple allows companies to adopt a look and feel that they know is liked by the customer already. It also provides the possibility of a Siri interface. All of this Ayla was demoing at CES because IoT is becoming mainstream. We will ignore the irony that Apple was not there.

Now that I have acknowledged the dominance of Apple and the value in connecting to the company’s products and services, let me return to the land where communities gather. In front of IoT Evolution Expo, Telit ran its innovation summit. I have already pointed out the Telit deviceWISE platform in The Hot List, but the summit represents an expansion beyond the role of the developer and into what drives the development opportunity. At its previous events, we got to see the developer conversations blended with security discussions and the market drivers.

While we say that IoT is about making money, saving money, or becoming compliant with regulation, the only real limitation is the isolation of imagination. Talking with industry leaders and exploring the possibilities, the value of these gatherings, goes beyond the examination of the code and into the magic of “what if”.

Carl Ford is CEO and community developer of Crossfire Media (

Edited by Ken Briodagh

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