Google I/O Announces The Future
Google just finished their keynote address at Google I/O. While there were a few new product announcements, the real excitement came from Google laying out their vision for the future of connected devices. You know the battle between Google and Apple? Well, that battle ended today.
Of course, the daily numbers game between iOS and Android will continue, the debate over which music service or which tablet is the best will rage on, but today Google laid out an ambitious plan to make Android the universal language of products. The key to this plan is in Android@Home, which despite its short-sighted name, creates a versatile standard that can bring the dream of automating anything that requires power. Google demoed the simple case of controlling lights, but by relinquishing some control with the launch of an open standard, it sets the stage for a turning point in home automation. Google also announced Android Open Accessory, another open standard based off the Andruino open-source electrical platform, which allows anyone to build an accessory that can connect to the standard usb port (Bluetooth support will be enabled in a future update,) on any Android device. Combine this with the list of partners Google already works with on Android devices and you could have some of the largest appliance and electronics manufacturers all on board. And, again, since the standard is open, it could theoretically all be controlled from an app on any platform.
It's hard to grasp how significant this could be, but imagine an appliance store filled with Android compatible products. And, because the platform is open-source and can be implemented almost immediately, the additional cost would be minimal if there is one at all. This idea could be extrapolated to industry very easily. At the moment, computer software and hardware is customized for every industry. Take medicine for example. Instead of building customized solutions for the field, which can ratchet up costs, hardware and software can be developed around Android and become significantly more cost-effective, not mention universally compatible.
Now, before I get too far ahead of myself, I do want to be clear, that's one possible outcome. Of course, the business goals of companies may not match with Google's vision and the announcements made today could end up falling flat. It's certainly possible and we've seen it happen before. But, there is a huge opportunity here and if a few major players get on board, we could be looking back at today’s announcement as an historic moment.
Other Announcements today:
· Music Beta by Google was launched today, with 20,000 songs free, but it's invite only (US Only too); no store, no labels on board as yet
· Google Movies launched allowing streaming rental of movies with 24 hours to watch within 30 day window
· Andy Rubin suggested we'll probably see the third Nexus device announced before the end of the year
· Ice Cream Sandwich, the next iteration of Android, will combine all flavours of the OS and launch in 2011
· Google TV is being resurrected with Honeycomb 3.1 and new devices by the summer