With Android@Home Google wants your house to be as smart as your phone


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Google kicked off its annual two-day conference for software developers by launching headline-grabbing movie and music services.

But it also announced a more futuristic project at Google I/O called Android@Home. The idea: To make your home as smart as your phone.


So far Google has used Android as an operating system for phones and tablets. Now it apparently has an ambitious plan to turn the home into one giant connected device.

Google wants consumers to be able to control devices and appliances in their homes with their Android devices, which would basically function like a universal remote.

Want to turn off the lights? Use your Android phone. That’s what Google did during an on-stage demonstration on Tuesday. Lighting Science Group is building wireless lighting products -- bulbs and switches that can communicate with Android -- that should be available in stores by the end of the year.

Making Google’s vision of an Android-automated home a reality will depend on the 5,000 software developers who are attending Google I/O. Google said it wants them to begin building applications to automate houses.

To get the creative juices flowing, it showed off a new home theater system called ‘Project Tungsten,’ which allows users to stream music from Google’s new service to speakers connected to the Android home network. A user can upload music by tapping a CD case equipped with a near field communication device on a Tungsten device. Tap it again and the music plays.

Google said it plans to release the protocols for Android@Home later this year.



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-- Jessica Guynn