Ah, Apple. Where everybody else is going all “open architecture” and “open source”, you’re still running with the closed architecture and the walled garden. Not that this is stopping Apple from adding to their walled garden, specifically, if they have their way, with your car and your house being completely controlled by your iPhone.
Or at least, according to patents, that’s the overall plan. Apple’s idea is to have each car built with the ability to read information from your iPhone or iPad. The idea would be that you store a configurable profile on your device and, say, when you get behind the wheel of a car, it adjusts the mirrors, seat, radio, and everything else to your liking.
Other ideas include hotel controls, home controls, TV channels, and so on. Essentially, your iPhone wouldn’t just be for making calls and playing silly games, it would also be for saving you five minutes of seat tweaks when you fire up the car after your significant other takes it out.
It’s not a bad idea, but it does raise a few questions in terms of a practical application. The first, of course, is what happens if some car manufacturer decides they prefer Google’s inevitable attempt to do exactly the same thing: Do we have to buy cars based on our smartphone choices? Another is what happens when you get into a new car and are forced to tweak the settings… or if a “friend” decides to scramble those settings because DERP THAT’S HI-LARIOUS DERP.
All that said, though, it’s still a fascinating idea, and the idea of making the iPhone more of an environmental device is certainly intriguing. Just don’t blame us the first time you walk into a hotel room and it decides you really, really need the temperature set to 80 degrees.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.