We haven’t heard much about Google’s plans for Android-powered home automation since 2011. In May 2011 at Google’s I/O Conference, Google talked about its plans for home automation via what it called Android@Home. That vision never materialized in the form of real products.
It would be easy to assume that Google had simply changed its mind on the future of Android@Home. However, hints that Google may still be working on its home automation plans have surfaced in system configuration files for the Android 4.2.2 update. These hints have led to some speculation that Google may again talk about its plans for Android@Home at its I/O conference this year.
Products for Android-based, automation could be a big deal. Over the last year or so a number of automated thermostats have become popular in the technology market that allow users to control their home heating and cooling system right from their smartphone. Way back in 2011 during the conference unveiling Android@Home, a wirelessly controllable LED lightbulb from a company called LightingScience had been promised by the end of the year, but that product never materialized.
That probably wasn’t a bad thing considering the high price of LED bulbs has only now starting to come down to the point where your typical consumer would consider buying them. One of the big problems in home automation at this point is that there is a wide variety of standards and manufacturers and much the hardware doesn’t work together. Having unified Android@Home platform that multiple manufacturers can use to make devices that work together could be huge for the home automation market. We’ll have to wait until Google I/O kicks off this year to see what Google has in mind, if anything.
[via USA Today]