quest for world domination continues as it announced a number of major product
launches yesterday at its annual I/O developers conference. While much of the initial buzz was over Google Music, the company also a
demonstrated a product that hits closer to home for all.
Google aims to make your home as smart as your phone (at least that's been the prevailing headline among various media reports).
scenario laid out is like this: Imagine that your Android-based smartphone or
tablet can communicate with your home's major appliances and light bulbs,
making it something like a universal remote. Run out of milk and your
Android-enabled refrigerator can send you a message the next time it's told
through your phone's GPS that you are at the grocery store.
want to think of every device in your home as a connection to Android
apps," Google Product Management Director Hugo Barra said in the
conference's first-day keynote.
named Lighting Science Group is currently working with Google to build wireless
LED light bulbs and switches that can communicate with Android. The products
are expected to hit the market by the end of the year.
reached out to us, but we were already working on something similar," Eric
Holland, vice president of electrical engineering at Lighting Science, told PCMag.
demonstrated the product because it wants developers to begin building
applications to automate houses. As an example of a creative way Android could
be applied to home use, Google demoed a home theater system called Tungsten. A
user holds up a CD case equipped with Near Field Communications technology and
taps it against the non-descript white sphere at the center of the system.
Immediately, all the music is ripped to the device. Another tap of the CD
begins playing the music. "It was pure magic," writes Gloria Sin at ZDNet.
appliances that don't have Wi-Fi connectivity, such as a refrigerator, Google
said that it's working on a new protocol that will connect any device that uses
electricity, but no further details were given.
According to PCMag, the Android@Home
network will be "a low-power wireless network used for short-range home
automation," similar to ZigBee. The low-cost network will have enough
power to wirelessly transfer video -- as in surveillance-camera applications --
but will use less than the typical 12 watts a lamp consumes.
Home is going to be huge," DisplaySearch Analyst Richard Shim told PCMag.
"I think it's something that's very ambitious. It's what I like to call
the next level. Everyone now has this synchronization of data, where you put it
in one place with multiple devices. The next step is controlling these
different devices, and no one has been able to crack that nut."
noted that Android@Home differs from DLNA because DLNA companies integrated the
technology on appliances, but left the other side of the spectrum -- client
software and devices -- wide open. The new offering by Google addresses both
for Android@Home are set to be released later this year.