[email protected]

One of the wackier things to come out of Google’s I/O event was the announcement of [email protected], Google’s first, tentative foray in to home automation.

If ¬†you watched and believed Tomorrow’s World back in the 80’s as I did then you will probably be very disappointed that you can’t already open curtains and flush your toilet by remote control. Home automation technology already exists, it has done for a while but take up has been tiny. Price is a factor – how much would you pay for a remote control fruit peeler? -But a bigger issue has been standards. There are loads of standards for home automation, most of them incompatible and proprietary so setting up any sort of future-home is a geeks only project.

Well if Google get their way [email protected] will become the one standard to rule them all. Ironically, the mere fact that Google put their name to this might be enough to make it succeed. Manufacturers will be faced with the choice of adopting the standard or competing directly with Google.

So far there are only a couple of devices, a light bulb and a media hub, but the possibilities are endless. A simple plug or multiway adapter could allow all sorts of existing devices to be operated from an android phone and devices designed for [email protected] would allow more than just on/off functionality.

The reason that this stands a fighting chance of working is that millions of people world wide already have an [email protected] controller in their pocket or bag right now. That said, there’s still a good chance that we’re looking at the next Google wave. I hope not, I want my automatic toilet damnit.

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