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Phones

Android @ Home lets your Google phone control your house

Google wants to take control of your house with Android @ Home, a new tech that lets you control everything from your lights to your washing machine with your phone.

Google wants to take control of your house with Android @ Home, a new technology that lets you control everything from your lights to your washing machine using your phone.

Google announced the mash-up of Android software and real-world hardware at Google I/O, a developer conference in San Francisco. Googlebods showed off a new technology for connecting Android devices to real-world items called Open Accessories by plugging a phone into an Android-powered exercise bike.

The bike recognises the phone and automatically opens an exercise-tracking app, or opens the Android Market so you can download the app you need and get spinning.

Another demonstration took charge of lighting using Android@Home. This makes Android the "operating system for your home", so your phone can wirelessly talk to everything in the house that's electrical -- from the lights to the washing machine to the TV.

Controlling everything in your house from the screen of your phone sounds pretty cool to us. You can turn on your Android-powered microwave as you near your house so your ready meal is waiting for you as you walk in the door. If you're on the sofa with a hot squeeze and you want to dim the lights for sexytime, you no longer need to yelp "hold that thought", and stagger across the room grasping for the dimmer switch with your trousers around your ankles.

And you need never miss an email or text if you set the lights in your living room to pulse when you get a new message. In fact, you'll be able to buy Android-compatible lightbulbs by the end of this year.

The demonstration also unveiled an eerily glowing media streamer codenamed Project Tungsten. Google wants to see CDs embedded with special chips that mean you can wave a new CD at the Tungsten device and the entire album is automatically added to your library -- so no more impatiently waiting for CDs to copy to your computer.

Which household appliances would you like to control from your phone -- or is this a step towards Skynet? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.