By Adam Lotia
Last weekend’s hack-a-thon and Apple’s announcement at their Worldwide Developer Conference the other day made me curious to see what will happen in the enterprise and industrial market now. Unfortunately, Apple didn’t release any earth shattering news; instead, it’s latest announcements are very similar to what Samsung, Google, and Microsoft have previously stated.
What I am seeing though, is a fresh new take at what may happen in the industrial market. Apple does have a history of pushing consumer market items into the business and industrial world. In this case, some of the features released today will creep into the industrial and business world. Starting with HomeKit, Apple’s home and automation control.
Between Logitech, ATT, ADT, Nest and others, everyone is playing “let’s see how we connect sensors into the market then unify them to make a smarter home.” Although commercial buildings have had this for years, the controls have not been all that accessible to the midsize and smaller markets. Commercial buildings with large owners or management firms can remotely control HVAC, lighting, and security functions; a small office owner has to cobble something like this together with consumer pieces that may be a little weak, or with a very custom and costly integrations. I don’t think Apple’s HomeKit will solve the problem, but I do think it will drive those pieces together in order to deliver a solution that will serve the market better. Apple’s platforms have changed how we use devices in a professional setting, and they will drive the industrial or commercial market forward.
Apple’s other big announcement was the integration of ApplePay into one of the largest and most recognized transit systems, the London Underground. Again, nothing new—Chicago’s MTA system can already take this kind of payment, just now we are starting to see consumer education coming to the forefront. This means that the busses are now connected to a larger network and will be reporting back more than just payment data but telemetry, security and various other bits of data. One does have to wonder: how will data security be handled? Will the bus run parallel networks like in a retail store environment?
With wearables also becoming more powerful, we’ll see sensor prices plummet even further and start seeing much more interesting applications for the health space, industrial workers, and other fields. A watch is flashy and maybe fun, but anything more than that is debatable. The watch only becomes interesting if it can become a controller for something else or the only interface for a foreman on a shop floor while it pipes in additional information.
Did any of Apple’s announcements blow my mind yesterday? Not at all. Was I disappointed in a company known for innovation not coming out with anything remotely new? Yes, but only because I consider myself a bit of a fan boy that will probably be switching eventually to Linux. I’m still faster on those two operating systems more than I am with Windows for now.
Overall, all you have to know is nothing new really came out from yesterday’s keynote other than new legions of fans may be created. Ultimately, it was just an appeasement of the Cult of Apple and its followers.