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Home in the clouds: Google's home automation platform to have major services integration

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Google's been studying what consumers want from home automation and working on products with a strong cloud component, according to Android boss Andy Rubin.

shutterstock cloud house
shutterstock cloud house

Google hasn't said much about its Android@Home home automation project since announcing it last May, but a bigger push is coming eventually, according to Android head Andy Rubin. "We've started thinking about how that device that you carry every day is going to interact with the other devices in your home." Google's been studying what consumers want from home automation and working up use cases, said Rubin, adding that consumers have "cut the cord" from their PCs and transitioned to mobile devices. "Now those mobile devices are coming home."

Rubin also said that "part of the post-PC era is the cloud," and that Google's approach would lean heavily on Google's strength as a cloud services provider. "The thing that's new for the home is the cloud — the services piece has never been thought of. All of our use cases have a services component." Those services will be designed to connect every device in the home into a single ecosytem, said Rubin. "Google is really uniquely positioned to make consumers' lives a lot better and make the 20 screens you have in your home interoperate."

Of course, home automation has long been a goal of the tech industry with little to show for it, and Rubin was careful to note that Google isn't ready to announce anything yet. "Turning a lightbulb on and off is nothing new... the industry is littered with ecosystems that have marginally failed," he said. "I think it's time we actually changed that and provide some intelligence for the home that's beyond the confines of the home."