Apple's 'Parenthood' ad features iOS-connected smart home hardware, parenting apps

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Apple on Sunday aired a new iPhone commercial focusing on the handset's ability to help parents teach, interact and connect with their children through various apps, some of which include connected smart home solutions.

The television spot continues Apple's "Powerful" series of ads touting the capabilities of its iOS platform, specifically how hardware and software can come together to augment everyday activities. According to reports, the latest run of commercials has been created by Apple's own in-house ad team, not TBWA's Media Arts Lab, which usually handles iOS product advertisements.

Set to "Life of Dreams" by Julie Doiron, Apple's "Parenthood" spot illustrates how the iPhone serves as a platform through which parents can teach, play and communicate with their children. Apps highlighted include teeth-brushing tutor MyTeeth, alphabet learning game DRAWNIMAL and pet tracker Pet Manager PRO. Apple also showcases first party titles including FaceTime for keeping parents connected with their children even when traveling.

More importantly, Sunday's ad is the first to prominently showcase so-called "smart home" hardware and apps, as well as two health-related products, that foreshadow the upcoming HomeKit and HealthKit features. When it debuts this fall with iOS 8, HomeKit will allow iOS devices to become a central control and monitoring hub for supported home automation hardware and software. HealthKit will work in a similar fashion for fitness devices, serving as a repository for quantified self and health data.

In the "Parenthood" short, featured smart home devices include Parrot's Flower Power Bluetooth-enabled smart plant sensor, while a father can be seen using Belkin's WeMo switch to remotely turn off a lamp using his iPhone.

Interestingly, Apple elected to advertise iOS home monitoring capabilities with Withings' Smart Baby Monitor and connected Withings WithBaby app rather than Dropcam, which previously held a spot on the Online Apple Store's "Our Favorite Accessories" list. The decision was likely a result of Dropcam's recent $555 million sale to Nest Labs, which itself is owned by Google.

As for health devices, the commercial shows a mother taking her child's temperature with the Kinsa Smartphone Thermometer, while another mother uses the Nike+ Running app on a stroller-mounted iPhone.

On its "Powerful" campaign webpage, Apple also includes a set of links to apps and music used in the "Parenthood" ad, something the company has been doing since a pair of iPad commercials ran in May.

With its most recent TV spots, Apple has been throwing a spotlight on apps and hardware that extend the capabilities of iOS. An ad in April showcased music and video creation apps, while a spot earlier this month touted fitness devices like the Misfit Shine.


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