Even though Apple will be able to initiate the MFi kind of concept for the home automation, but ultimately it will be an advantage for Androids. As MFi will be mainly communicating with the devices via Bluetooth/ZigBee/WiFi, being these a standard protocols of communication any other device based on Android or Windows will be able to communicate provided the mobile application existing on the platform, which generally all the home appliance manufacture will design for all the platforms.
True, Kinnar. As long as you have wireless (or wired) connectivity in your device, yes, you can build a home network. And it doesn't matter whether the control device is iPhone or Android. But what Apple's MFi does is to ease the pain of connecting the different devices in a network.
I've always found the concept of "home automation" or "home network" a non-starter -- largely because it will inevitably involve so many complexity and steps (if you want to build a seirous home network) for oridnary consumers to handle.
What better way to build it by just looking for good house keeping seals like MFi in an IoT device you buy?
To have some uniqueness, it can be thought of putting some sort of facilities like "WPS" we have on the wireless routers for paring the devices with security. Yes that is again a part of standard protocol, and in case of Bluetooth or ZigBee is some amendment is made need to be the part of standard. So it is hard for one company to put uniqueness for its own use. But at the same time this is very good advantage for the community as they will have advancement in home automation because of this. This will also enable earning opportunities for the home appliances manufactures, increasing the buybacks of old equipments. And I think that will be more revenue generating for appliances manufactures as compared to Apple of Google.
Then this will require consumers to buy new i-devices as well as existing Apple Devices does not include ZigBee chipset, as per my best of knowledge. This in indirectly force users to change the i-devices.
AZskibum, i agree. I didn't see the MFi coming for the smart home front, but it is indeed brilliant. Until now, IoT, especially for the home front, has always been something nebulous...but now it's suddenly looking like a reality!
@Junko: You are right about home automation gadgets being non-starters, may be more so in the past than the present. The good old VCR flashing LED display comes to mind when I think about this! But now a days, the gadget makers have gone to the extra mile of making out-of-the-box installation so simple that it is hard to argue this point.
It took me exactly 3 minutes to setup my Sonos speakers thru WiFi with my home network. For a "connected" home, one can expect I-o-T devices out-of-the-box to find their home network and set up automatically in a couple of minutes.