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Will Apple TV become Apple’s home automation hub?

Apple TV
Jeffery Van Camp/Digital Trends
Apple introduced us to the revamped version of the Apple TV at the Hey Siri event last week, but even bigger changes may be in store for the device. The tech company filed to trademark Siri Remote on Sept. 9 — the same day as the event — and the documents hint at the possibility of the new Apple TV digging even deeper into the world of home automation, according to Patently Apple.

The Siri Remote trademark paperwork, which was filed under International Class 009, specifically makes reference to “home automation hubs,” as the report points out. Though the information is by no means confirmation, this suggests that the company sees Apple TV as the potential command center of all your house’s connected devices.

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Apple’s all about simplicity, so it would make sense to have a single hub. Currently, Apple TV is filling the entertainment niche, while Apple’s HomeKit system works with a constantly expanding list of compatible connected gadgets, and the system is even more integrated with devices like the iPad and iPhone thanks to new features in iOS 9.

Before the iOS 9 update, HomeKit was dependent on the Apple TV, requiring a third-generation or later device to allow users to operate devices with Siri from outside of the home. Although users can now take advantage of iCloud to remotely control their smart devices, it still seems like Apple wants all of us using Apple mobile devices to control our home appliances, while the Apple TV acts as the central nervous system to run the show. In other words, you can run your smart home without an Apple TV, but the experience might be enhanced if you have one.

Possibilities are rife for Apple TV as a command center, allowing users to control everything from the garage door to the living room blinds, with advanced learning through the cloud to actually adapt to each individual’s daily routine.

In the meantime, both Apple TV and HomeKit have seen recent enhancements. Using the new Siri Remote, Apple TV has gotten smarter and is set to improve the entertainment experience. The device is now syncing a growing number of media devices, as well as responding to increasingly advanced commands from users. Meanwhile, more device makers than ever before are achieving compatibility with HomeKit.

While we’re still not sure just how integral the new Apple TV will be in regards to home automation, it’s clear that Apple is hoping to develop its HomeKit system into a powerful tool to help create the smart home of the future. And the Apple TV just might be the key.

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