Google's Platform Extends Its Reach With Android@Home
Every appliance in your home as a potential I/O device
The first Android smartphone came in 2008. Then in 2010, the platform appeared on tablets. Now, Android wants to move into your home.At its I/O developer conference, Google showed a sneak preview of its Android@Home project, which will extend the Android platform into household objects.
“Think of your phone as the nucleus that this all started with,” said Google engineering director Joe Britt in an interview. “We’re opening the platform up to everyone to do whatever they can imagine.”
For Google, the Android@Home project is a first step into “the internet of things,” a term used to describe the growing trend of manufacturers producing intelligent, connected objects. Major tech companies like ARM Holdings and Hewlett-Packard have long since been involved in this space, from providing cheap microcontrollers and toolkits to hobbyists and engineers, to creating wireless sensor systems that measure seismic activity. In essence, projects like these ultimately aim to turn “dumb” or unconnected objects into “smart” (connected) ones.
In addition to the Android@Home preview, Google also debuted Android Open Accessory support. This allows external hardware, like a mouse or an XBox controller, to interact with your Android-powered device. If you want to attach an accessory that requires an app in order to function, you’ll be directed to the Android Market to download the app. USB support is currently available, and Bluetooth support is expected to come in the future.