Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lighting Science demos Android @ Home bulbs, promises dead-simple home automation (hands-on) -- Engadget

Is Google Getting into Home Automation?

Android HomeImage by weboo via Flickr

Lighting Science demos Android @ Home bulbs, promises dead-simple home automation (hands-on) -- Engadget

Generation 3 electric has been following home automation for years. It has so much potential. The promises that it can make to energy saving, quality of life, and safety are huge. To date every systems we have tested in our office have just been too complicated or too expensive to be practical for our clients.

I do think however we are close to see all that change. With an inexpensive mesh network, smart phone and an open source architecture  there will be many advancements coming soon. This Google smart phone controlled light bulb(chip) could be the killer app for home automation.

Smart phones are now common. Add to them an inexpressive chip that can work on a mess network and I think you found the solution to the home automation problem. Consumers can build their smarter home one device at a time. You want to control you bedroom lights from bed. Buy a dimmer with a smart chip or change the bulbs. You want to have a programmable thermostat, get one with a smart chip and set it up from your kitchen counter when you are paying your bills. You want coffee in the morning but not sure what time you are getting up. Buy a coffee maker with a smart chip in it. Start your coffer from bed with your cell phone when you wake.

I do hope that Google's smart chip becomes an open standard. The closed standards of the home automation world has been a major problem that has keep the whole industry down. It is just too difficult for consumers to have to worry about who's products will work with who's controllers. It reminds me of piles of useless remote controls everyone has next to their entertainment centers or the drawer full of wall wart chargers.  The home electronics industry  needs a standard and  then we will start to see some huge movement in home automation.  No one want a pile of outdated expensive light switches in their house.
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