Apple is readying a new software platform that would turn the iPhone into a remote control for lights, security systems and other household appliances, as part of a move into the “internet of things”.

Apple plans to take on rivals Google and Samsung and make a “big play” in the world of smart home technology at its Worldwide Developer Conference on June 2 in San Francisco, according to people familiar with the matter.

This will reinforce the view, held by some in Silicon Valley, that Jetsons-style home automation is the next frontier in technology as growth in smartphone sales begins to slow in developed markets. - The Financial Times

Maybe I’m unimaginative and not visualizing the big picture but I still haven’t thought of practical applications for appliances beyond security, lighting, heating and entertainment which are all systems; not one off devices.

Even as a “user interface” developer *cough* front end *cough* , I see no point to obfuscate my interactions with my refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer. 

There has to be an obvious gain of functionality/ease-of-use to offset the additional complexity. An iPod despite being more complicated to use than a CD or Tape player has so many advantages that any issues with managing digital music libraries on a computer was easily nullified by the ability to carry massive catalogs of music one’s pocket. Adding wifi/internet/bluetooth support for a car for diagnostics/vehicle health would easily offset the trouble of downloading an app and pairing it with the car. Can we extend this beyond systems and large ticket items?

I look forward to seeing how Apple envisions the future. My guess is they’ll provide the platform (elegant and beautiful in execution) and let the manufactures figure the later out, for better or worse.