The second one reads:

A port that supplies power in accordance with a standard is equipped with a variable power supply and a power line communications module. Power line signals on the power conductors are used to allow a port controller to negotiate power requirements with peripheral devices and the power supply is adjusted accordingly. If the peripheral device does not support such negotiation, power is delivered in accordance with the standard. The port may be a data communications port that supplies power and data in accordance with a standard. 

While these patents show that Apple is indeed working on network or connected devices, perhaps this patent, credited to Timothy Pryor, shows how deep and expansive Apple's ambitions are as it relates to the home:

The disclosed invention is generally in the field of control of appliances in the home, and in their networking and connectivity also with audio systems and internet sources and the integration of these elements in a connected manner. Preferred apparatus generally employs a video projection system and one or more TV cameras. Embodiments of the invention may be used to enhance the social interaction and enjoyment of persons in the kitchen and reduce the work of food preparation. The invention may be used in many rooms of the house, and contribute to the well being of seniors and others living therein.

Apple, under CEO Timothy D. Cook, is continuing to use its playbook from the past, under Steve Jobs, as it watches a market emerge, then attacks with vigor, as it seeks to become the dominant player. Samsung has first mover advantage in the "Internet of Things" ecosystem, with its smart dishwashers, refrigerators and ovens, but that doesn't seem to have taken the world by storm.

Google has had mixed results as well, with the recent Nest recalls of its smoke alarms over concerns of a defect that could cause it to turn off without user notice. The recall comes amid controversy that Google recently said in a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it could place ads anywhere, including thermostats, such as the ones from Nest.

There's also been recent speculation that Google could buy Dropcam, a company that makes Wi-Fi cameras that allow users to see a live stream of what's going on in their home in real time.

Assuming Apple's plans for an integrated system are real, Apple again would be entering a new market to compete with other technology companies, something Cook has promised investors time and time again. With the back half of 2014 set to see refreshes to the iPhone, iPad and the launch of the iWatch, an iHome would just be "one more thing" coming out of Cupertino, Calif., to excite both Apple enthusiasts and shareholders alike.


Also See: CES 2014: Day One Recap

Also See: Apple's 'Smart Home' Levels Android All Over Again

Also See: Apple's iPhone: The Tech Titan's Secret Weapon for TV

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

>Contact by Email.

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