Android @ Home makes your home smart, not just your phone

Android @ Home makes your home smart, not just your phone

Summary: Google launches Android @ Home to turn your tablet into an universal remote to wirelessly control all your appliances, and unveils the Google Tungsten and Android-compatible LED light bulb.

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TOPICS: Android, Google
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Google rallied its troops at the Google I/O conference keynote today to build apps on the Android @ Home framework that can make your appliances as smart as your phone, and transform your tablet into an universal remote for your home. It also introduced some consumer electronics designed to be Android compatible.

Imagine if your fridge could automatically ping you on your phone that you need to pick up more milk the next time you go grocery shopping. How about if the lighting and music is synced perfectly with your video game to make the experience even more immersive as demoed on stage? Consumers in the future will be able to purchase an Android @ Home receiver to do just that: to communicate with your Android-enabled applicances, and download apps to control those devices through your tablet or other mobile device.

It turns out the LED light bulbs used in the video game demo were developed in partnership with Lighting Science so that Android devices can "speak" to it. These Android bulbs and switches will be available in stores by the end of this year.

Google also showed off how Google Music (rumored to launch today) works with Android @ Home and its other foray into the consumer electronics business: stereos (maybe music receiver is more appropriate). Because its users' music will be stored in the cloud, the tunes can be played by any device that is connected to the online service, like the Google Tungsten (the box glowed some sharp LED colors when playing music on stage).

The demo of the concept Tungsten device definitely got the biggest reaction from the audience. The prototype initially looked like a non-descript white sphere on stage, next to a pair of speakers. But with just a touch of a CD, all the songs were ripped to the device, while a second touch of the same disk pushed the songs to speakers. It was pure magic.

For those appliances like a fridge that simply don't have Wi-Fi connectivity, Google said that it is working on a new low-cost protocol to connect any device that uses electricity but did not offer any specifics.

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[Images taken from video clip: Gizmodo]

Topics: Android, Google

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11 comments
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  • RE: Android @ Home makes your home smart, not just your phone

    This should be interesting! I like the 'connect devices that use electricity' part ... (edit) ... as long as my refrigerator doesn't tell Google I'm stocking up on 'X' or looking to buy 'y'. I'd hate to have interactive ads show up on my toaster.
    noagenda
    • Not on your toatster...

      @noagenda The ads will be going directly to your 3D virtual reality glsses/headset.
      gardoglee
    • Smart toaster

      Your toast will come out with "Buy Milk at Safeway, $1 off today only" burned directly onto the bread!
      boomchuck1
      • RE: Android @ Home makes your home smart, not just your phone

        @boomchuck1 I know you're kidding, but that would be beyond awesome!
        jgm@...
  • RE: Android @ Home makes your home smart, not just your phone

    Now that is wicked cool and almost - [i]ALMOST[/i] makes me want to give up my iPhone 4 for an Android device... Provided of course the cost for the home automation modules are right and there is a smartphone compatible app rather than one just for tablets.
    athynz
    • RE: Android @ Home makes your home smart, not just your phone

      @athynz I am trying to figure out how this is really any different than what we can already do, be it with an iPhone, your PC or a graphic remote. Some of it was pretty cool but nothing new really apart from the Tungsten and I would like to hear more about how that is supposed to work.
      non-biased
  • RE: Android @ Home makes your home smart, not just your phone

    just another way for Google to record data about people without them realizing.
    dragoncancer
  • Everything old is new again!

    What a concept, control of devices over the power lines.
    Proceed to Radio Shack and ask if they still sell X-10 controllers. They may still have the software for the PC and WinCE PDA's!
    sbf95070
    • RE: Android @ Home makes your home smart, not just your phone

      @sbf95070

      Yup, old news... never got any traction at all... been trying to sell the smart home for decades..nobody is buying.
      bwalker
      • RE: Android @ Home makes your home smart, not just your phone

        @bwalker It's like a lot of things; ahead of its time given the state of the technology. Now that people are carrying computers in their pockets, able to stream media, have wireless Internet in the home, etc. the possibilities are greater. In Google's vision, the smart home isn't going to require a lot of custom hardware or custom programming. In their scenario devices will come with the hardware functionality built in and controllable via downloading Android apps. That's a lot different than what's required today to set up a home automation system.
        jgm@...
  • RE: Android @ Home makes your home smart, not just your phone

    All I want is a universal remote based on Android. Comparing my $150 (no-contract) LG Optimus V phone to a $150 Harmony remote is a joke. Better yet, make A/V equipment tie into Android @ Home so I can just use my phone as the remote. The downside is I'd need all new equipment.
    trx_1