Android as a way to control your home

Android @ Home

Google recently announced its new platform Android @ Home which should join all devices in the home for easy configuration and management. The idea is to add Android to each device – TV, STB, washing machine, dimmers, switches, lamps etc. Then using ready-made software or built by yourself using Android @ Home SDK you’ll able to manage those devises from Android smartphone or tablets even over Internet. The current conception when the smarhome is built around a controller won’t be used. Each device will be accessible directly. Additionally Google offers integration with its services like Google Music and some video/TV maybe to stream media content over the house.
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AlertMe Energy is supported by Google PowerMeter

AlertMe Energy

Good news for all UK inhabitants who’d like to control their electricity consumption. Producer of DIY home security system AlertMe announced its new product – AlertMe Energy which will be supported by Google PowerMeter service. The AlertMe Energy contains two parts – Meter Reader clipped onto the home’s electricity meter to measure the energy consumption, and Hub plugged to the into the home broadband connection to transmit received data from the meter to the AlertMe web service and now – to the Google PowerMeter. The Meter Reader and Hub communicate each other via ZigBee.

The price of the AlertMe Energy is £69.00 and £2.99 per month for the online service. Well, personally I like TED 5000 more because it doesn’t need any subscription fees. But it can be used in US only as I understand. In any case the partnership with Google is a clever move for AlertMe. Because their security system is too expensive taking into account its limitations. New energy monitoring product can help AlertMe get more customers and keep existing ones.

First device for the Google’s PowerMeter service

Google PowerMeter

Finally Google announced the first device for its new service PowerMeterTED 5000. It’s really good choice. The TED 5000 has everything to be the best energy consumption monitor. It’s split by three parts – measurement module, network gateway and display. In case of using Google’s service the display is not needed. The network gateway will allow to connect to the PowerMeter and send the measurement data there.

The current price of TED 5000 – $200, including measurement module and network gateway, is quite reasonable. And probably it’ll be cheaper when the PowerMeter will be open for the users. I hope that the European version will be produced as well. Because as I understand the current version is suitable for US only.

Save energy with Google PowerMeter

Google PowerMeter

Google announced its new web service – PowerMeter. AS you may understand from its name the main goal of that service is to provide a way for consumers reduce their electricity bill amount and carbon footprint by making smart decisions about energy use.

The idea is not so new. There is a bunch of energy meters on the market. But the biggest advantage of PowerMeter is an integration between device and web service which allow to analyse data, store statics and represent results in the easy understandable format like charts or graphs. Additionally the energy consumption data can be shared with relatives, friends or neighbours.

Currently the Google PowerMeter is a closed beta program. As I understand the main problem to make it public is the energy meter. Not sure which one is used by Google. Probably it makes a deal with GE. But when the device will be in production the PowerMeter will be open.

Google’s Android in home automation


eHomeUpgrade recently posted a nice example of using Google’s Android in home automation. The project is called AutoHTN and developed by Home Theater Network (HTN). The new software allows to consumers automate and control lighting, security sensors, cameras, electrical outlets, thermostats, streaming video from a HTPC, window blinds, and receivers from mobile phones. Sure the mobile phones should support coming soon Android.

To work with multiple automation protocols such as Z-wave, UPB, and X10 AutoHTN uses the xPL automation protocol. The video streaming is done with VideoLAN, which allows to stream video even via Internet directly to mobile phone with installed AutoHTN.

The AutoHTN looks really cool. But Android is not yet released, there is no any Android powered mobile phone and it isn’t clear will be AutoHTN is free or we should spend some money to pump our mobiles. In any case, it’s good example of application of revolutionary Google’s technology.

[via eHomeUpgrade]