Joshua Schnell, December 21, 2012
There’s been a huge cluster of innovation this year when it comes to controlling and automating your home from your mobile devices. There was the Lockitron, Wi-Fi enabled lightbulbs, the Nest, and a whole host of other products that hit the primetime this year. It’s starting to look like 2013 may be the year of the often dreamed about, and frustratingly improbable, smart home. Word on the street has Apple, Microsoft, and Google all lining up to acquire Id8 Group R2 Studios.
Id8 Group R2 only has one product on the market: their Android application lets home owners control pretty much anything directly from their mobile devices. Think TVs, stereos, thermostats, lights, and anything else lazy geeks would want access to from the luxury of their couch. The software currently sits priced at $99.00 on the Google Play store.
Now, more than ever before, the fight for dominance in your living room is nigh. There’s always been talk about companies looking for new ways to gain access to customer living rooms, but until this point we haven’t heard of any of the major players in the industry looking to acquire an actual home automation company.
When I was in high school, back in about 1998, I wrote an essay about the future home technologies we might see. It sucked. But, one thing that’s always stood out to me was an article I read at the time that illustrated a smart, connected home. I’ve lost the reference material over the last decade, but in it, there was mention of being able to start the oven, draw a warm bath, and even queue up music from a mobile device across the Internet or from the office. It always conjured up images of Bill Gates talking to his car on the way home, getting things ready for an evening of relaxing.
Back then it was a pipe dream, maybe even science fiction. Today, over a decade later, it’s pretty close to becoming reality. Blows my mind every single time I think about it.Follow @macgasm