Google Glass and the Home of the Future

Posted on March 25, 2013

Google Glass

The “home of the future” or the “smart home” is a concept that’s been around for quite some time now. Imagine being able to control every electronic device and appliance in your home from a centralized panel or device, and that every device is capable of adjusting itself automatically to be more efficient during certain parts of the day. The technology hasn’t been fully developed yet, but Google, with its “Google Glass” wearable computer, is beginning to dabble in what may be the beginning of the smart home revolution.

Back in 2011, Google filed an interesting patent that outlines just exactly how Glass might interact with appliances within the home. To quote straight from the application:

A wearable computing device includes a head-mounted display (HMD) that provides a field of view in which at least a portion of the environment of the wearable computing device is viewable. The HMD is operable to display images superimposed over the field of view. When the wearable computing device determines that a target device is within its environment, the wearable computing device obtains target device information related to the target device. The target device information may include information that defines a virtual control interface for controlling the target device and an identification of a defined area of the target device on which the virtual control image is to be provided. The wearable computing device controls the HMD to display the virtual control image as an image superimposed over the defined area of the target device in the field of view.

In short, Google Glass will wirelessly interact with compatible objects within its (and by extension yours) field of view, bringing up an augmented reality-style menu that shows what you can do with it. From there you can interact with it via touch, hand gesture, or voice commands.

But features like these don’t do much if the appliances aren’t compatible with it. Luckily LG has recently begun development on a line of “smart” home appliances featuring the kind of proprietary technology you’d expect a smart home to have. Among other things, these appliances can be scheduled to run when energy rates are the lowest, thus maximizing their efficiency, and can be managed by users remotely through use of a home control panel or a mobile app.

Though the two technologies have yet to be combined, the simple fact that they’re actively being developed means that the world is one step closer to realizing the “smart” future predicted decades ago.