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Google to Control Your House With Android@Home

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Google to Control Your House With Android@Home


Today Android may live only on your tablet and smartphone and interact as mostly a standalone device, but Google has plans for its mobile operating system to take over your home. Android@Home was announced today at Google IO, which opens the door for what many imagined to be defining features of "the home of the future." Google will release open source libraries so that anyone can create an Android-compatible device that will allow Android to interface and control it. In a full Androidified home, that would mean using your smartphone or tablet to control the lights or the operation of the sprinklers outside. This functionality could also extend to music, where users of Google Music (Beta) will be able to stream the collection to any compatible device in the house.

For links and more stories visit the Hot Stories section at HomeToys.com
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
There have been many attempts over the years to engage the average consumer with home automation and control. I wonder if Google is on the right track with this philosophy at this point in time?

Bob
post #3 of 9
I think the market is finally ready. With the vast majority of people now owning a smart phone, the biggest obstacle for home automation is already solved (getting a convenient interface/access/control device in the hands of everyone). Now it is just a matter of having people install devices that can be integrated into the system into their homes, and with this being an open API, with no license fees for devices to implement the API access, I think you will really start seeing the "home of the future" soon.

The past home automation devices all tried to lock the customer in to using just their solution, with only using their products for which they would add a huge markup on vs the regular device (whatever it may be). With an open API and library functionality, any hardware manufacturer can release their devices which could be controlled with this system, removing the huge license fees involved with gaining access to the other proprietary solutions.
post #4 of 9
If its google/android only, i'll pass. If they offer an open system / api that is vendor agnostic then i'll jump in.
post #5 of 9
While I love the idea, the cost and PITA factors will probably kill the idea AGAIN.

Imagine having to replace all your wall light switches (in the places you want to control) with compatible devices - PITA!! That alone would stop many.

You want streaming music in the living room? You might have to replace the amp or attach a computer and install the software...

Perhaps in new builds or full renovations the cost could be absorbed, but as a retrofit, I doubt it; and even so, I suspect the devices themselves will be several times (10 to 20 times as a guess) the price of a 'dumb' version of the same box.

I suspect these are the first baby steps, and it will still be a toy for the elite or the brave for the forseeable!

Eric
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by deegeetaal View Post

i am ready for the upgrade

Me, too.

Yeah, upgrading certain parts would be a pain, and I would probably do it very slowly (and maybe not do some things at all), but I imagine as new homes are built/renovated, it wouldn't be so unlikely that these devices would be put in more frequently if they're not cost-prohibitive.
post #7 of 9
The Android system is seriously unsecured. The people behind third party applications may be hackers wishing to steal your personal information. Google does nothing until victims start to complain.
Never store passwords on your Google Android phone. I'm receiving bogus emails at my Google mail account (which I never use!) from my Android "smart"phone business contacts such as my insurance company.

So the last thing you want is to have some hacker take control of your house thanks to Google's flawed, insecure, wild-west operating system.

Google and Apple need to quit tracking you and storing your location data and sharing it with 3rd parties that you have no control of. Worse even when you don't need GPS on they still track you with it. Its only a matter of time before hackers gain access too this data too, then predict where you will be. That and other similar scenario's are very scary.
post #8 of 9
The root cause of this insecurity is Google and Apple have system administrator rights and consumers do not. Their priorities (making money) are not the same as consumers.
This is why I will never by a Google or Apple Tablet. With Windows or Linux the consumer/owner has complete control over the operating system, system configuration and applications.
For example I want to have GPS location tracking to be turned on and off only when it benefits me, not for Google's and Apple's secret advertisers.
post #9 of 9
From FT:
Android Smartphones Face Data Breach Threat

By Tim Bradshaw, Digital Media Correspondent
Published: May 18 2011 13:11 | Last updated: May 18 2011 13:11

Owners of Android smartphones are being warned to avoid public WiFi networks after researchers found a security flaw that could affect the vast majority of devices based on Google’s software. A trio of researchers at Ulm University in Germany found that it was “quite easy” for hackers to intercept data from Google’s photo-sharing, calendar and contacts applications, as well as potentially other Google services such as Gmail, using a flaw that affects 99 per cent of all Android devices.

The revelation will again put the spotlight on Google’s approach to security with its mobile operating system, which is the most popular software for smartphones in the world. The security flaw has been fixed in Android’s 2.3.4 version of its operating softwares and beyond. In March, Google was forced to remove more than 50 rogue applications, which could have stolen data or sent costly messages, from tens of thousands of Android devices. The attack works when unsecured wireless access points that imitate public WiFi hot spots that the phone has accessed before – such as a coffee shop chain – capture an authentication token.

That token can then be used by attackers to access and modify personal data in Picasa, Google’s photo site, Calendar and Contacts. Business customers using Google apps on Android are not affected by the weakness because all traffic is encrypted by default. “The implications of this vulnerability reach from disclosure to loss of personal information for the Calendar data,” said the Ulm researchers in a posting on their website. “Beyond the mere stealing of such information, an adversary could perform subtle changes without the user noticing. For example, an adversary could change the stored e-mail address of the victim’s boss or business partners hoping to receive sensitive or confidential material pertaining to their business.”

Google said of the flaw: “We’re aware of this issue, have already fixed it for calendar and contacts in the latest versions of Android, and we’re working on fixing it in Picasa.” However, according to the researchers, the flaw still affects devices running older versions of Android, which make up 99.7 per cent of Google smartphones in use today. “The latest research just shows that Android users need to be even more careful with their phones than they are with their PCs,” said Omri Sigelman, vice-president of AVG Mobilation, a provider of security software for Android. “All platforms are vulnerable to hackers, particularly at the beginning of their lives, but the openness and popularity of Android means that it is especially at risk. Sadly, many operators don’t provide the necessary updates, leaving their users vulnerable to critical flaws like this one.”

The Ulm researchers recommended that Android users turn off “automatic synchronisation” in the settings menu when connecting with open WiFi networks and let their devices “forget” wireless networks they have used previously. “The best protection at the moment is to avoid open WiFi networks at all when using affected apps,” they wrote. "

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/905bb4d6-8...#axzz1MkQOwRtV
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