The Week in Smart Home: Apple's plan for the self-aware smart home

All the week's smaller stories you might have missed

Apple's plan for the self-aware smart home
The Ambient is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

This week we were at Amazon's big Alexa event in Seattle, where the company announced approximately four trillion new products and even more new Alexa features.

There were smart speakers galore - the new Echo, the Echo Studio, even a new Echo Dot with a clock - but there were also new Ring cameras, an Eero update, and even a smart oven.

For all of that and more, go check out our news page. For everything else that happened this week, read on...

The Week in Smart Home: Apple HomeKit could be set for big changes

Apple's idea for a smarter home

File this one under major speculation, but a new Apple patents hints at one idea the company has had for the future smart home. Titled the 'Modular Wall Unit System', it outlines a concept whereby outlets and other technologies could detect the location of a user within a building, and could then activate appliances when they enter a room.

HomeKit already has geolocation tracking, but only to determine when you're home or out. Apple's proposed system would pinpoint your more specific location within the home. The outlets in the patent also each have a communication module that would allow them to share information such as power usage and whether something is plugged in. More over on Apple Insider.

The Week in Smart Home: Apple HomeKit could be set for big changes

Alexa, I'm lovin' it

McDonald's has announced a new way for people to apply for jobs – through Alexa and Google Assistant. Called 'Apply Thru', the initiative only covers the first part of the job application, where you'll be asked a series of questions by your smart assistant, before being texted a link to complete the application online.

It's part of other moves made by the food chain as it attempts to be more "down with the youths", and although we're not convinced anyone will apply for a job using their smart speaker, we're happy to be proven wrong.

The Week in Smart Home: Apple HomeKit could be set for big changes

Apple Music on Android now works with Chromecast

It was a rare moment for Cupertino when it launched Apple Music on Android, but until now it's been missing one key feature: Chromecast support. That changed this week with an update to the app, letting anyone running Apple Music on an Android phone or tablet to connect it to any Chromecast dongle or speaker. More over on Android Police.

The Week in Smart Home: Apple HomeKit could be set for big changes

Tidal brings sweet sounds to Roku

It was a bad week to be Tidal, which has just had its lossless music service significantly undercut by Amazon's own. It remains to be seen if Amazon can attract some of those subscribers away, but Tidal is ploughing ahead, this week announcing it's bringing its high-fidelity audio to Roku devices.

Tidal is available right now as an app on Roku, and gives you access to the entire library of music, videos and podcasts. It helps gives Roku a bit of an image boost too, bringing a premium audio service to a platform better known for its affordability.



TAGGED    smart home

Related stories

smart home Getting started with the best smart blinds: Top brands and options for your shades
smart home How to build your own smart home hub with a Raspberry Pi
smart home Apple HomePod 2 wish list: What we want to see in the next smart speaker
smart home Zigbee vs Z-Wave: We help you decide which is best for your smart home
apple The best Apple HomeKit devices: Compatible smart lights, plugs, thermostats, cameras, sensors and more
robot vacuums Best robot vacuum cleaners 2020: Roomba, Neato, Roborock and more