Google Aims at Hearts and Minds of our Homes
Not content with being a brand name which stands for search and having it included as a verb in the Oxford English Dictionary, Google now wants to be at the very center of every home, helping to run a host of everyday utilities.
At the recent Google I/O unveiled an Android device called Project Tungsten which can connect, like a USB, to speakers and home stereo systems and stream music from Google’s Cloud-based music streaming service. More than that, the device worked in a totally futuristic way using near-field communications (NFC) technology. Touching a CD to it, for instance, was sufficient to activate Google’s music streaming service and load the song. Touching it again meant it started to play.
The demonstration, coming on the back of a new ability deployed in Google’s Android 3.1 to act as a USB host when in a Tablet, showcases the brilliance of it. Have a Tablet running Android 3.1 (known as Honeycomb OS) and you can just plug any USB device to it from a keyboard to any home electronic system running a connection protocol and your Tablet then becomes capable of controlling it.
The protocols for this are still being worked on by Google as well as a host of other refinements but a vision of being able to take the heart and mind of your home with you, connected to your Android Tablet is something which follows naturally from all this.
Google’s vision goes a step further. Honeycomb is available in Tablets only but a refined version of it to be called Ice Cream is set to work on mobile phones. This would make any palm-sized device running the OS capable of being the heart and mind of your home, giving you total control over anything electronic and putting you at the center of an electronic universe of streaming data and services where you would be its virtual god.Continued on the next page