Android@Home – what we know so far

Posted in Home Automation,Industry News by Ruslan Ulanov on the May 12th, 2011

Android@Home

Google has dropped the bomb at this week’s Goggle IO conference, claiming to bring Android platform in the near future to any device in your home – from light fixtures to tumble driers, to stereo systems. The technical details, though, are scarce at the moment. Here’s what we know about Android@Home initiative so far…

Android@Home will use a new low power, wireless (900Mhz), mesh protocol, similar to ZigBee. But unlike ZigBee it will be capable to carry audio and low-res video streams. “If an OEM were to do that it would most likely today be a proprietary solution,” claimed Android head Andy Rubin. “By the Android team doing that it becomes a standard.”

There could be up to 500 devices in a mesh and they can be up to 50m (~164ft) apart. There should be a central Android@Home base station (at present time code-named Project Tungsten) in the mesh to bridge wireless devices with Android phones/tablets.

Protocol adopters (i.e. device manufacturers) will have a relatively low cost of entry, thanks to “no NDAs, no fees and no approvals process”. Currently the details of the implementation are not revealed, but Google promised to open source the protocol as soon as it’s ready. (continue reading this article and leave comments here…)