Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lighting Science demos Android @ Home bulbs, promises dead-simple home automation (hands-on)

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/11/lighting-science-demos-android-home-bulbs-promises-dead-simpl/

'Tis amazing what a partnership with Google can do. Unless you're a frequent patron of Home Depot, there's a slim chance you'd ever heard of Lighting Science prior to this week's opening I/O keynote. Now, said company is leading the Android @ Home charge, and based on what we learned yesterday at its booth, we're feeling better than ever about home automation's chances in the mainstream market. Company representatives noted that this Google-led mesh networking solution -- which beams out commands on the 900MHz frequency band -- is the first HA solution that's truly designed to be ultra-low-cost and easy to implement. Compared to Z-Wave and Zigbee, there's far less technical expertise needed to start automating things in your home, and there's no need to take out a second mortgage to open your garage door with your handset. Oh, and there's zero chance anything fails due to congestion on the 2.4GHz band.

We pressed the company on pricing details, and it stated that the wirelessly enabled light shown above would be priced "at parity" with the non-wireless counterpart available today. At last check, that puts a single bulb at around $30. In order to make these kinds of devices compatible with existing Android phones and tablets, a couple of WiFi-to-900MHz adapters will be available. From Lighting Science alone, you'll soon see a light switch, security lamp and a regular wall wart on sale to handle the transfers. In other words, you can pick up a dirt-cheap plug, toss it in your guest room, and immediately give your Nexus One the ability to dictate Android @ Home products. Not too shabby, but what does this mean for the broader industry?

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Lighting Science demos Android @ Home bulbs, promises dead-simple home automation (hands-on) originally appeared on ! Engadget on Wed, 11 May 2011 06:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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