Google Aims to Android-Enable Your Home

By Tracey E. Schelmetic May 11, 2011

If you're an Android user, you may find that many aspects of your life are controlled by the Google mobile platform: your driving and navigating, your schedule, all your communications, your social life, your gaming, your entertainment and your birds (of the angry variety, that is).

But your home?

Maybe, if Google succeeds with a new business venture called Android@Home, a protocol that will allow home lighting devices and appliances to be controlled wirelessly via a user's Android device.

“From the beginning, Android was designed to extend beyond the mobile phone. With that in mind, we’ve developed Android Open Accessory to help developers start building new hardware accessories that will work across all Android devices. We previewed an initiative called Android@Home, which allows Android apps to discover, connect and communicate with appliances and devices in your home,” wrote Google on its official blog.

Examples of this new technology program will include “Project Tungsten,” a wireless speaker system that can be synced via Android, as well as wireless light switches and other appliances. Florida-based Lighting Science was also named as a partner, and will launch wireless lighting products this year to support Android@Home, reported PC Mag.

“We want to think of every device in your home as a connection to Android apps,” said Google product management director Hugo Barra in his keynote speech at the recent Google I/O conference held in San Francisco.

According to Eric Holland, VP of electrical engineering at Lighting Science, Android@Home will use a new version of a mesh network wireless protocol developed by Google. It will eventually be open sourced, Holland told PC Mag.

“Google reached out to us, but we were already working on something similar,” said Holland. Wireless Science, which will likely be debuting the first Android@Home-powered items, plans five products, including internal lamps and external lighting fixtures: one of them an LED bulb that contains an integrated radio. The products will ship by the end of this year, said Holland.

Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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