Apple hires Sam Jadallah, who previously headed a smart lock company

Apple has hired Sam Jadallah, a former Microsoft vice president who previously ran a smart lock company that shut down about a year ago, reports CNBC. He’ll be leading the home initiates at the tech giant, the article — quoting unnamed “sources familiar with the matter — adds.

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Jadallah previously ran a start-up called Otto, which made a $700 lock (pictured) that was backed by the venture firm Greylock. The Silicon Valley startup was founded in 2012 and pitched its digital door locks as an easier way for people to open doors by using a smartphone app instead of a key. About 70% of the early team behind Otto were actually poached from Apple's ranks, Jadallah has previously said. He also spent more than a decade at Microsoft.

I would expect that Jadallah will be working on HomeKit, Apple’s framework that allows control of compatible home automation devices through iOS and Siri. Research from Parks Associates estimates that by 2020, more than 12 million U.S. households will have a smart water leak detector, more than 40 million will have a smart thermostat, nearly 50 million will have a smart light bulb, and nearly 14 million will have a smart home controller.