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Thursday, 12 May 2011

Turn Your Android Phone Into A Remote

At its I/O developer conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, Google showed off a future where someone could use an Android phone to control home appliances-—to turn on and off the lights, the dishwasher or anything else they want to. The technology called Android@Home would be built into appliances so they could wirelessly communicate with Android devices; it would work similar to the way a Bluetooth headset communicates with a mobile phone. Developed as an open wireless protocol, Android@Home allows the OS to connect with any devices that are powered by electricity.

"Think of your phone as the nucleus that this all started with," Joe Britt, engineering director, Google said. "We're opening the platform up to everyone to do whatever they can imagine."

"We'd like to think of your entire home as an accessory, or better yet as a network of accessories, and think of Android as the operating system for your home," Britt added.

While demonstrating the technology, Britt used a Motorola Xoom tablet to control stage lights created by Lighting Science Group--Google’s first officially announced partner. By the end of this year, the LED manufacturer will release the first Android@Home-capable LED light bulbs.

Eric Holland, vice president--electrical engineering, Lighting Science opines that using Android@Home, any developer can write an application to control the lights; they don't need to learn any proprietary protocol from Lighting Science.

"Everything should be Android-ified," Andy Rubin, head of Android, told reporters. "The power of Android is that it can be used by a lot of people in a lot of different ways. We are going to see some pretty interesting stuff."

Google also previewed the Open Accessory toolkit at the conference for hobbyist developers, who don't make washing machines or light bulbs but can make other things that work with Android devices.


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