Apple has filed for a new patent today in which it describes being able to use an iPhone to control a car or home environment. Essentially, the technology described would allow users to control the world around them.
Titled “Automatic configuration of self-configurable environments,” the patent describes a system that is capable of automatically adjusting configurable object’s around the user based on their preferences through a mobile device, such as an iPhone. The patent contains an example of a car’s cockpit. In theory, users would be able to configure seats, steering wheel, mirrors and other functions straight from their iPhone. This can be particularly useful for people who share a car, every driver could have their own preferences be automatically configured by the car.
The same system can also be used to control environments in a hotel or house. For example, the iPhone would be able to configure climate controls, lighting, television and other home automation settings. The same device may also be able to control entertainment systems as well as household appliances.
There is a caveat here. For this system to reach end users, Apple would rely heavily on third party manufacturers that actually make these products. Car manufacturers would have to build in support for Apple’s system in their new vehicles. Home appliance and control manufacturers would have to do the same. With its patent, Apple has presented only half of the solution. Lets wait and see how long the other half takes to materialize.