Last month, Apple announced the rollout of iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch along with details on their new software and services. What does this mean for CEDIA members, both designer/installers and manufacturers/suppliers?

Members of the CEDIA Technology Council along with CEDIA senior staff have studied the live keynote and blog feeds to identify several top items you need to know that might impact your business.

1. iOS 8 Upgrade May Cause Disruption With Current iOS-Based Systems
The iOS 8 upgrade was made available on September 17. No customer should upgrade any iOS product that serves as a primary control device without speaking with you, their installer first. Let them know that is for their protection so that you are able to evaluate the impact of this new software on their systems. Expect service and upgrade calls and use them as an opportunity to recommend back-up and verification services for their devices before they upgrade.

2. The Apple Watch Is Poised To Become An Integral Part of the Connected Home
With a re-imagined user interface, location awareness, and other key innovations, the Apple Watch will enable CEDIA members to provide a more personal control experience. Start to think about the wearables market in general and how it will impact all of your clients.

3. Apple iPhone 6 Embraces Near Field Communication (NFC)
The iPhone 6 models bring NFC to the Apple ecosystem. Be aware of how NFC could be utilised in clever ways to activate home controls that interact with physical objects. Keep this in mind as you look at other home technology products and be aware of the implications NFC has with triggered events in access and controls systems.

4. Touch ID Released to 3rd-Party Developers 
This is a key element to increase device and data security thanks to twofactor authentication provided by the biometric sensor on iPhone 5s and iPhone 6. Along with Apple’s rollout of new APIs, this will open up huge opportunities for technology integrators as they deploy customised mobile apps in their AV and control system designs using Apple’s HomeKit, HealthKit, CloudKit, and WatchKit development platforms. 

Personal data security is a hot topic in the news along with hacking of connected devices, so think about how this will make your client installations more integrated and secure.

5. It’s a Wi-Fi Phone!
A key new iPhone 6 feature is the ability to initiate phone calls using your own phone number, with seamless hand-off between a home’s WiFi network and carrier VoLTE networks. This will impact many areas of communication and possibly place additional burdens on the home network.

6. These are the first iPhones to Support 802.11ac Wi-Fi
The new iPhone models include 802.11ac support which, in turn, creates opportunities for the industry to upgrade existing client wireless infrastructures for faster and more reliable networking.