Smartphones. Phablets. Tablets. With so many devices in our hands and pockets, the area has grown fast, but beyond the constant upgrades of screen sizes and CPU cores, something is still missing. It’s time to start thinking about what else these devices can do for us, and using them as remotes for the world around us.
In 2011, Google announced Android @ Home, and it seemingly never left the stage, as we haven’t heard a peep about the project from the search giant or any of its partners since. The time for the connected home is now, and we can only hope that this is a trend that we begin to see take hold. And at a faster rate than what we’re currently seeing now.
When I wake up every morning, while still in bed, I take my Nexus 4 and launch the Philips Hue app. From there, I turn on three of the six bulbs on manually (in the app) to ease my transition to the waking world. The Philips Hue bulbs, while pricey, have completely spoiled me. Outside of the wow factor when showing the bulbs off to friends for the first time, the bulbs have certainly made me crave more of this type of control with my smartphone. Nest would naturally be the next option, but it’s something I just don’t need.
While I’m still in bed, I want to be able to press a button and have my coffee pot start making coffee, and not a timer on the coffee pot itself. (I know– first world problems) This needs to be available now, and shouldn’t be confined to overpriced espresso machine setups. A WiFi-enabled coffee maker shouldn’t have to be fancy – give me a simple 10 cup coffee maker that has WiFi and can tell the machine to brew coffee via an application. That’s it. If Samsung has a refrigerator with a built-in Android tablet, throwing in WiFi into the products we use every day should be available already. Hell, I’m not asking for the microwave in The 5th Element.
The connected home is slowly churning into reality, but something like Android @ Home would have at least turned the perambulation into a trot. That said, the new fad is phablets and smart watches, so a real focus from some of the best manufacturers on connected home appliances may still have to take a back seat. I can not wait for the connected home to become the reality it soon will be, but I suppose I’ll have to.
What sort of appliances or other things in your house would you like to control with a tap of your phone? Tell us in the comments below!