I imagine a sophisticated yet easy to use software product, not just a hardware product: a "Home Hub," rather than just a nice-looking TV.
Smart homes are part of a new wave of innovation. As the younger generation moves into their own homes, they'll install smart home features. Technology continues to grow, and smart home features are just too convenient and provide too much comfort to be ignored.
One public company that's focused on this up-and-coming trend is Control4 (CTRL). With a small $500 million market cap, Control4 could even be an acquisition target for Apple, which rarely spends much on M&A. But if Apple did acquire the company -- or built out its own similar platform -- it could create a "Home Hub" for all of a customer's needs.
Turn off the lights. Lock the front door. Arm the security system. Turn on the outside flood lights. Adjust the thermostat. Argh -- I left and forgot to record my favorite shows. Well, now you could do that too. Other features, and far better ones, could be added over time. Apple's deep ecosystem could also allow for a large adoption rate. (Google appears to be going down this road too, with their recent purchase of Nest.)
Combined with iCloud, customers could sync more than just their iPhone, iPad and Mac together. They could sync their homes. Literally, everything in one place, on one screen.
Apple's got to innovate. I'm not saying it has to be with home control. But it needs to do something besides a TV or a smart TV. The living room is such a wide open target for the next big thing to happen. It's one of the few areas or focal points that millions of people utilize on a daily basis, but has yet to have a true technological transformation in decades.
And if we've learned anything in the past ten years about Apple, it's that the underdeveloped, untapped and very popular technology products that we use on an everyday basis are in its innovative crosshairs.
In the words of CEO Tim Cook, the TV "continues to be an area of great interest."
Let's hope so.-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.
At the time of publication, the author was long AAPL but held no positions in any of the other stocks mentioned.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.