Google's announcement that it is entering the home automation segment and that it has started building hardware accessories that work on Android devices, has spawned key questions.
Will Google give everyone in the budding home automation business a run for their money in one fell swoop now that the global tech giant is pushing into the ‘Internet of things’?? And what are the implications of Google's move on the business of future homes? Will Google's Android@home act as a coalescent and unify the industry around common networking standards? Or will it only lead to further fragmentation of the market?
Google likes nothing less than the biggest canvas and it's a foregone conclusion that the tech giant will gatecrash into the future homes and conquer them with its acute drive for market leadership.
The prognosis is this: The entire range of electronic household appliances like switches, bulbs, power sockets, washing machines, microwaves, dishwashers and the like can be made communicable through wireless technology. The future home can be seamlessly meshed in with the smartphone, the laptop or the tablets and everything can be worked on the go wireless.
Google says the ultimate aim is to design a set of devices which will have the ability to connect and communicate with themselves.
“Think of your phone as the nucleus that this all started with ... We’re opening the platform up to everyone to do whatever they can imagine,” Google engineering director Joe Britt said. “We want to think of every appliance in your home as a potential I/O device,” he added.
As Google lays its hand on what is termed as “the internet of things,” it is certain that the existing home automation market will witnesses sea changes.
“As an open platform, Android was always meant to go well beyond the mobile phone,” ” according to Google director of product management Hugo Barra.
Google's presentation of the Android@Home project at the I/O developer conference means the tech giant is hell bent on ‘Android-fying’ the future, to borrow a phrase from Android chief Andy Rubin. Google is officially partnering with Lighting Science for the manufacture of intelligent, connected objects that will talk using Android devices.
... the potential, the potential is staggering, giving users the ability to drill all the way down from the whole-home energy view to the device and switch level without ever leaving their browser or smartphone app, writes Thomas Ricker in Endgadget.
And Google is perhaps the company at this point of time that can unleash this potential. The market is replete with home automation players like Sigma Designs, ExpressControls, Zensys, Echelon etc. But the industry has failed in unleashing the potential because of the lack of a consumer-centric approach, says Ricker. And Google can address this.