APPLE has refused to comment on widespread rumours it is soon to release an integrated home automation system that will manage things like lighting, air conditioning and security. The company filed a patent for the system in November 2013.

It’s the latest move between a group of tech giants which includes Samsung and Google – all of which are positioning themselves in an attempt to dominate the so-called internet of things. Google recently purchased automation device-maker Nest for $US3.4 billion and Samsung has developed Smart Home fridges, TVs, washing machines and smart watches. 

In Apple’s case, the company is putting together an alliance of automation and security manufacturers whose product lines it will integrate with management software installed on all its smart phones and tablets. The device manufacturers will market their products as being 'Apple-Enabled'. This integration will turn iPhones and iPads into remote controls for air conditioning, lighting, security, intercom and entertainment systems. Official release is thought to be at the upcoming Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, early June. 

According to insiders, central to Apple’s offering will be a high level of system security and privacy protection, which will give it leverage over Google, whose more open offerings are based on leveraging advertising income. Google said recently it was preparing for a “multi-device future” in which “we and other companies could be serving ads and other content on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches”.