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Apple Inc.'s Next Big Platform Play

According to The Financial TimesApple  (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) is looking to unveil a new smart home platform at its WWDC developer conference next week, which could facilitate a wide range of new products and allow them to interact directly with iOS devices. Google  (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) has already placed its big bet on the smart home in the form of its $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest earlier this year.

However, Apple and Google have very different business models, and it's here that Apple thinks it could have an advantage. Since Google's business relies on advertising, which inevitably ties into user data, Apple feels that it can offer more privacy to consumers. Apple has no interest in selling ads, so it doesn't need to turn around and sell any data that's collected.

Google recently mentioned the possibility of delivering ads through connected home appliances, including thermostats. That hit a nerve as Nest's smart thermostat was the most obvious target. Yet, Nest proactively shot down any speculation that ads would be coming to its device.

In this segment of Tech Teardown, Erin Kennedy discusses Apple and the connected home with Evan Niu, CFA, our tech and telecom bureau chief.

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  • Report this Comment On May 28, 2014, at 11:40 AM, AJF wrote:

    One piece of the Apple home automation puzzle which people keep missing is their purchase of PrimeSense, the company that makes Kinect. iBeacons will be great in determining a persons position in a space, as long as they have an electronic device with them. Which is not everyone, and not all the time.

    With Kinect technology, the HA system will be able to differentiate between people using our physical characteristics; facial recognition, height etc. This will be a HUGE advantage compared to other current HA systems.

    I am using SmartThings in my home right now, and besides that fact that IMO it's still a beta product, one of it's problems is being able to tell who is who and where. If Apple's HA system is anywhere near as polished as previous products, I'll dump ST's and try their system.

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Evan Niu

Evan is a Senior Technology Specialist at The Motley Fool. He was previously a Senior Trading Specialist at a major discount broker. Evan graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a CFA charterholder.

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