Phones at The Hub of Home Automation

We reported on the news that google is pushing the reach of Android beyond the phone and tablet platforms with it’s [email protected] initiative. The concept is that any appliance, no matter how simple or humble, can be made to interface with an Android device.

Well Google aren’t the only ones, Lockitron are a US based company who are offering simple to fit door locks that can be operated via a smartphone. The basic functionality is that you can open your door without a key, but the software is cleverer than that.

Not only can you open the door yourself but you can send friends and family electronic “keys” the their phones too. You can make them time sensitive, so you could allow a tradesman access to your house for a limited period for example.

The system comprises a simple electrically operated lock that is controlled by a plug server – a pc the size of a power adaptor. The plug server is connected to your home network by a cable, removing the security issues of WiFi, and your phone communicates with the device via the internet.

Google’s [email protected] project could well see plenty more devices like this being created. The kit handed out to developers at the Google I/O event included some development gear based on Arduino, an open source electronics project designed to let non techy types build cool stuff.

Arduino has been the basis of many cool projects from laser harps to robots and gadgets that tweet when a bakery has bread fresh from the oven, you can see a selection here :

Ease with which non techy types can make cool things with Arduino and the tool kit Google have provided to connect it with Android is a powerful combination. Suddenly, the power to interface Android devices with almost anything is available to anyone with the inclination to do so and a soldering iron.

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