Android Auto is a thing — a real thing — where Android will be pre-installed in participating automobiles. Of course, we all know that Android Mobile has been a thing for quite some time. Also, back in 2011, Google made mention of Android @Home. This was going to be the future of home living — an Android-connected smart home that would revolutionize the way we live.
But Android @Home faded into oblivion. The funny thing about that is, even though @Home never really came to fruition, the devices that should have powered @Home did. Android devices and services that are geared toward raising the IQ of your home are popping up all over the place, which leads me to the question ...
Where is Android Home?
This would make perfect sense. Home, Auto, Mobile — the Android Power Trio. But if you go to http://www.android.com/home, you get a 404 error. Why, Google, why? Having Android Mobile, Android Auto, and Android Home as three distinct and different products, all interconnected with one powerhouse platform — Android — would spread the Android brand into three of the most important consumer markets. But more important than just reviving @Home, this would show that Google has its sights set on total and complete domination of the embedded systems market. On top of that, imagine the possibilities of a completely connected life! Your car connected to your home, connected to your mobile life.
- You drive up to your home
- Your home detects your car
- Your home opens your garage door
- Your home detects you exit your car
- Your home turns on your lights
- Your home detects you enter (and maybe plays your favorite playlist)
- Your car automatically locks
The possibilities are completely without limits.
This is where we are heading — complete automation between home, work, and play. But in order to fully realize this, Google will have to add Android Home into the mix (dropping the @ to keep the brand uniform).
Google needs this. Android needs this. We need this. Thanks to Nest (now conveniently owned by Google), we've already seen the ecosystem works brilliantly. And maybe the purchase of Nest should key us in to what Google has planned (as in a full-on take over of the connected living market).
It's actually surprising to me that Google hasn't jumped on this. The marketing alone would be pure gold. "Be together, not the same" would now not just apply to living beings, but to your cars, your homes, and your appliances.
Come on, Google — bring us the singularity! You know you want to.
This would also be the perfect opportunity to revive Project Tungsten, only roll it into an all-inclusive solution that would be Android Home. This could include:
- Climate hub (otherwise known as Nest)
- Media hub
- Phone hub (a sort of homecentric dock for the Android phone)
- Lighting hub
- Security hub (Dropcam and Nest Protect already available)
The entire package could come as a single unit or base with add-ons. Even embedded Android systems (your fridge, coffee maker, dishwasher, clothes washer/dryer) could all connect to Android Home. Everything connected, everything "smart."
If any company can pull off such a feat, it's Google. They already have all of the constituent pieces of this remarkable puzzle, they just have to fit them together in the perfect combination and make it easy for the consumer to deploy and use — yet another thing Google has mastered.
Here's the thing... if Google doesn't take over Home, someone else will. I don't know about you, but an Apple Home would be:
- Require a "Genius" to install
- Have limited scope products
Embedded is Android's world, and Google needs to capitalize on this for the home. The time is right for Android Mobile, Android Auto, and Android Home. Bring it, Google.
Nest is a brilliant product that's ready to control the climate of your home. With just a few additional products, your home could enjoy a level of automation and connectivity associated with the "future" and science fiction. I strongly believe consumers are ready for this level of integration — from mobile to home to car — and Google is the one to make it so.
Are you ready for this level of connectivity? Would you invite Android into your home, or is this a security risk in the making? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.