Since last semester break I regularly watch “The Big Bang Theory” an American sitcom by Chuck Lorre (right, the one who did “Two and a Half Men”) and Bill Prady, which is about Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj, four nerdy scientists who seem to know everything about universe and comics but meeting Penny, Sheldon´s and Leonard´s neighbour and aspiring actress, shows how little they actually know about “normal” life.
Honestly, sometimes it´s way to geeky for me but when I thought about a potential topic for my next blog post I remembered the following scene:
So I wondered what is Android@Home?
The framework and associated functions transform an Android device into a home automation controller that connects and directs all of the devices and appliances in the user’s home. Basically it can be used to control lighting, appliances, irrigations systems and anything else developers can envision. At first the connection between system and home appliances shall work through USB interface; later it´s supposed to work with Bluetooth or WLAN.
Then the next question arose: How does that look like?
With the help of an interactive plan of your house, you could switch on and off the lights as you like. This can be handy if you are on vacation, since you could turn on the lights and television in the evening, which would hold burglars off. Moreover it´s a useful invention if you live in a big house and you just forgot to switch off the lights upstairs. You don´t have to go back you just get your tablet PC or smartphone and push “off”. This is actually what they presented at Google I/O Developer Conference. On stage they had two lamps that had a wireless connection to an Android tablet. Pushing “off” on the tablet made the lights turn off immediately. However the bulbs where from Lighting Science and already had a WLAN connection. Thus, if you want to use it you would probably need to buy new bulbs.
Another aspect mentioned was, that this additional function could interest game developers, too, since it offers completely new ways of interactivity. I started being curious when they talked about how one could make waking up a little more enjoyable. Namely, by programming your stereo and lamps so that they turn on with slowly increasing intensity.
Things you should consider…
Of course this sounds like a lot of fun but what is if you get “hacked”? Is that person then able to decide whether your lights are “on” or “off”? This is not even the worst case scenario; just think about what you have at home that is electronic…
Furthermore, as far as I understood you will need new appliances that work with WLAN or Bluetooth. Thus, while you invest in your new “home” companies who corporate with Google will of course profit.
Actually, the search giant isn’t the first company to present smartphone-controlled wireless technology, but it may prove to be more successful than others, given its reach and influence on the market.
Sonos, a rival home-connected group, already provides wirelessly remote-controlled music services. But Sonos’ high prices keeps it at the high end of the market, whereas Google plans to release the open-source project to the masses.
It seems to be a promising future for Google Android@Home since it is also technology Apple can’t offer yet…