Apple muscles into smart home market
Apple planted its flag at the intersection of tech and home on Monday when it unveiled its plans to add home automation functions to its new operating system.
Taking the stage at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, the company announced that it would be adding remote security, lighting and other home automation controls to its latest iOS using its HomeKit software, according to multiple media reports.
The details remain sparse, but Apple announced that it’s partnering with companies like Chamberlain, Philips, Honeywell, August, Schlage, Netatmo and Withings.
Many are speculating that iOS users will be able to integrate multiple home automation functions into one app that communicates seamlessly with all Apple devices, as well as use simple voice commands (such as "get ready for bed") in order to activate multiple controls. This will, essentially, turn one’s iPhone or iPad into a remote control for one’s entire smart home suite.
Apple is also rolling out HealthKit for fitness trackers and other wearable devices, as well as PhotoKit and CloudKit for online data.
Knauf to acquire Guardian Insulation
Shelbyville, Indiana-based Knauf Insulation signed a deal to acquire Guardian Insulation.
The transaction includes Guardian Fiberglass, a leading supplier of insulation products for the construction market, and Guardian Laminated Building Products.
Knauf Insulation in North America CEO Mark Andrews said the acquisition is a step toward becoming the global leader in energy-efficient systems for buildings. “We are already one of the fastest-growing insulation companies globally, and this deal will firmly establish our leadership position in what is the largest insulation market in the world,” he said.
Andrews added: “The combined entity will have a dramatically expanded manufacturing footprint to help provide high levels of service. Customers for both companies will also benefit from Knauf Insulation’s industry-leading technology as we further invest in these plants.”