13
Jul
1

We've already seen a short video where Android Wear is used to do simple things like toggle lamps and open a garage door, but Armando Ferreira took that concept and applied it to all the things. In this video demoing home automation with Android Wear, he toggle lights, a popcorn maker, and a PC, but doesn't stop there. He also uses his G Watch to adjust his home's thermostat, turn on the TV, and get a notification if any of the doors or windows in his house are opened. It's pretty nuts.

The only "downside" to this is the lag. Google still has a bit of work to do with AW's response time, as each command takes a good 10 seconds to execute. In an ideal world, this would be cut down dramatically...but we'll get there. It's still really freakin' awesome (and useful) nonetheless.

It's not entirely clear what he's using to execute all these commands, but he mentions Tasker at the end, so I'd assume it's the same stuff we saw in the other video (on the phone side, at least). Update: He's using Tockle, as noted in the comments below.

Anyway, if you're looking for more of a reason to justify buying an Android Wear device, Ferreira just made it a little bit easier.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • John Moore

    ... Holy shit.

  • Peter ‘Firefox’ Fox

    Yeah lag is a bad problem with wear, also those odd times where there's a little inaccuracy in the commands. I truly trust Google to refine that a lot as well, not just on a yearly basis.

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  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

    You know, I hate to be the guy that shits on sweet new functionality (and I badly want to get a Moto 360 when it comes out) but...is this really the kind of thing that someone would do as more than a novelty? I mean, I'll totally do this with my own hardware because it's awesome. But I can already control a ton of stuff hands-free with my Moto X. But I frequently find that the only time I actually do that is in the car. Everything else is quicker to do with a phone.

    Reducing lag could certainly help that, but with the lamp example, even a 2 second lag wouldn't be faster than walking over and flipping a switch. Thermostat is a really cool example, particularly because I'd like to use it when I'm away from home (it's unclear from this video if it works like that, but I assume a moderately smart thermostat could), but, again, it doesn't take that long to just do stuff from the phone. And I could see a lot more information at a glance. Changing the thermostat from 80 to 76 is a nice example while you're standing there, but more likely I'll be out and think "Wait, did I turn the thermostat off?" I'd need to check that information first, and a thermostat app on my phone could tell me and give me the option to change it if I need to, all on the same screen. I suppose a smart watch could, too, but is it really going to be easier or faster?

    I really do like the possibilities of Android Wear and I'm excited to see where it goes next, but honestly I need a little convincing on this trend of making Wear a platform unto itself. We already have a wireless, do-everything platform in our pocket. Doing the same things on a watch just to avoid using the phone isn't terribly impressive.

    As a side note, the dude mentions at the end of the video that Wear allows you to "experience the world around you" or something instead of having your face stuck in your phone all the time. He then follows it up by saying he can check a text message and reply to it on the watch, which somehow wouldn't be distracting at dinner. Am I the only one who sees that as way worse? Either you're using a crappy watch keyboard to take longer, or you're using a voice command which is way more disruptive. Just another reason that I'm not sure using a watch to do things is a good way to substitute a phone. The watch idea seems to work best when it's in the background and is used as little as possible. Controlling more and more things with a watch—while neat from a gadget nerd perspective—seems like a step in the wrong direction.

    • Bryan Kolb

      I think the biggest way in which a smartwatch can keep you more "present" is basically to enable you to keep your phone in your pocket. That changes your interaction with it from proactive/impulsive to purely responsive. If my phone is on the table in front of me I am way more likely to pick it up and use it for little or no good reason, but if it's in my pocket then the only technological interaction I have is when I'm responding to something important enough to actually warrant a response.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

        I guess I just don't see a way to respond to anything via a watch that wouldn't take longer or be more disruptive. Sure, you're less likely to dick around, but your dinner guests aren't going to appreciate you talking to your watch. And forget typing on it.

        What it might be good for is acknowledging that the ding you just got on your phone is unimportant. I get like a billion emails a day, but only 3-5 actually require a prompt response. If I can glance at my watch and see that, nope, that's not my boss getting on my case, then it keeps me in the moment and at the table. That's definitely helpful! But the moment I have to actually do anything, the phone is the better tool.

        Again, I don't think smart watches are bad, and I definitely see the potential. But I don't think that responding to messages on your watch is the way to bring you back into the moment. But the ability to acknowledge that a message (realistically: *most* messages) aren't worth replying to, is.

        • shaboogen

          People seem to be looking for a killer use case for the watch, which I don't think is ever going to happen. What has already happened (and will continue to happen) is the watch allows for an accumulation of a lot of tiny improvements to technology interactions.

          Case in point: I walk from my work to a train station on the line, it's around 20 minutes. I pull out my phone to pick a podcast to listen to, I then load Runkeeper and start an activity once I have a GPS lock (hopefully both of these actions will be able to be started from the watch at some point soon).

          Along my walk, there are several traffic lights, at each one of these I pull up Runkeeper on my watch and pause the activity so my time doesn't get stuffed up, then when I get going again I start the activity again.

          The podcast I'm listening to is on the TWiT network and Leo starts an longish ad about Naturebox, which I don't want to listen to because it's not available in Australia (yeah, sort that shit out Naturebox), so I go to the music controls and hit fast forward a bunch of times to skip past it. Once I finally get to the station, I stop the Runkeeper activity from the watch, I also get a notification of when the next train is.

          Could all of these use cases have been performed from my phone? Of course it could. But each time I would have to get the phone out, look down to unlock it and do what I needed to do, put the phone back. rinse and repeat for however many times I would need to do it, all while attempting to focus on a walk, pay attention to traffic etc.

          Whether or not an improvement of that experience is something worth paying for is up to them, but that argument is true of absolutely everything. If you think about it, everything you can do from a tablet could be done from a phone, but people choose a tablet because the experience is better. It's all about the right screen for the right job and personally I definitely see the value in my watch.

        • Peter ‘Firefox’ Fox

          I have the G watch and I can tell you, no it's not for everybody but it's still pretty neat, use cases where I find it starts to make a difference.

          1) I was at dinner with my parents and my dad wanted me to look into doing something with his website which he needed help with and I'd have to do later, so I did a quick voice command to set a reminded for when I get home to do it. It fit into the conversation without me stopping to unlock and type in all that, or use Now from the phone which I don't always enjoy using.

          2) Working at my desk (at home by myself) programming and I'm in the zone, I get a text from my girlfriend who just wants to confirm plans for later, I simply hit reply say a quick answer and carry on without losing my train of thought.

          3) Sitting through meetings at work I always have the ability to glance at an email or facebook notification without taking myself out of the conversation because I no longer have to guess what the vibration in my pocket might mean. If I want I can also open it on the phone so when there is a moment to deal with it I can unlock my phone and it's there to deal with right away.

          Overall, other than the thermostat I doubt I'd use the automation stuff, it's a bit of a gimmick but both areas of wearables and smart homes are still in their infancy.

          • hockleyj

            Automation gimmick, nope it works well for automation that is not standard occurance.

            ever leave the porch or backyard lights on and relaise it once your in bed, "ok google, turn off porch lights" i think it assists the automation in non standard pattern like tasks, people are just slow to visualise how to use it with automation, as the automation peace requires a collaboration of technology each doing its right job in concert.

      • SMARTPHONE

        seems like Google/SAMSUNG/LG/Moto359 and all its fanbois don't get one SIMPLE thing:

        -------------------------------------------------------------------

        PEOPLE HAVE SMARTPHONES WITH BIG CRISP DISPLAY, easy to type, easy to see information and interact with. AND sleep, eat and wake up with their SMARTPHONES!
        ----------------------------------------------------------------------

        People DON'T need more and WORSE/less comfortable to use, less functional displays to look at. This category is DOA. A niche.

        "Look how awesome is automation via this smartwatch". WHY do people need something else if smartphones CAN do ALL these things PERFECTLY and even much, much BETTER!

        SMARTPHONES can do EVERYTHING "smartwatches" are trying to sell to consumers.

        • grmrsan

          For me, I like the idea of improved fitness accuracy, and being able to put my phone away while I'm working, but still be able to get my notifications that I need. Then I can read and play with my big ass phone when I'm on break. Unfortunately I need ro have the phone on at work, so only responding to critical info is very useful.

        • hockleyj

          its rather simple, swipe, say, ok google bars nearby. then suddenly you have bars nearby, without pulling out the GIANT media brick 5" screen phone. essentially it's more natural for short actions/messages. you really need to play with one past the 2 hour mark to see the potential, and as long as developers make the choice to work out whats best on watch and whats best left on phone, then the Augmentation these devices bring to a persons life will enhance it, instead of distract from it.

          each device has it's sweet spot, relative to the environment and social norms that people accept into their culture.

          A watch is acceptable now where Google glass isn't quite there yet.

          Human augmentation is a slow process, think about how long it took for people to adopt camera's into life, or cars over horses, without money being a problem.

  • challenge_accepted

    This is amazing!

  • mateor

    Man, that lag is intense. Looks to be a processing issue on the watch, huh? That is something. 10 seconds to process a voice command on a device meant to be controlled by voice.

  • Humberto Hernandez

    I just don't understand how the lamp turns on and off , or the TV, what hardware do I need installed on them?
    It's not like my room lamp has internet or something.

    • Andrew Loiacono

      Some light bulbs offer connectivity options. Also he could have been using an internet connected surge protector. I'm not really sure what he used, but those are two options.

    • M0nk

      vera equipment. http://getvera.com/

  • arthur22021788

    He is using the tockle app. Shame he did not mention that.

    • Thomas Gaubert

      Yup, you're right that's Tockle (dev here). That's what he's using to activate the Tasker tasks without voice. Possibly worth mentioning in the article? @cameronsummerson:disqus

  • Colin Kaminski

    Every time he says "OK google" in the video my phone flips shit and tries to listen

  • Dee Norbert

    When he is saying OK Google its trygering Google now on my phone

  • dude

    In some way I feel Amando did too much ebegging when the made that dedicated Patreon video. It's fine making a video about it, but the tone I get from it is that he doesn't make videos because he enjoys to and that's its an inconvenient to his life unless he gets donation. At the end of this video he is basically saying the people who didn't donate to him shouldn't have deserved the video.

  • Mike

    Why is this stuff always tagged as AndroidWear? It's mostly Tasker doing the "magic", plus extra Hardware and that's already possible for 2 years plus know. Source, did it myself with a Sony Watch.

  • Akshay Gupta

    I was watching this on my phone, the video and when it said OK Google my phone responded waiting for me to ask something.😁

  • Ben

    This video was impossible to watch on my phone. Every time he said "OK Google" my phone would open voice search.

    • hockleyj

      Wrong device for video, phablets, tablets etc are designed as the native right device for portable media consumtion.

      Watch is short information and assisted voice directive thats it's design sweet spot.

  • black

    Yeh, I'm gonna go "ok google, do xxx" then wait 5 secs.

    I'll turn on my own lamps, for now.

  • George Brooke

    It is probably xxxxVera as you saw Vera Alerts when he opens the door.

  • http://www.torchingigloos.com sneakily1

    If you own a Vera, you know it takes a bit for commands to actually happen. The lag isn't so much a google wear thing as much as it's a network thing. When he says the command, the auto scripts call the tasker task, which then send the command over the internet to the Vera on his network, which then sends the command to the module plugged into whatever device he has in the house (outlet, light, thermostat, etc). I own a Vera myself, and it's awesome... but there is always a bit of lag between giving a command, and it actually happening. Just wanted to inform those who might not have figured this into the "slow" factor.

  • Yoofaloof

    So this shows it's quicker to get off your bum and switch on/off appliances yourself.

    • M0nk

      Not if you are in other continent...

  • Demetrius Beasley

    Google now only activated 50 times watching this video

  • MrWicket

    freaking cool!

  • GazaIan

    What's with that lag on the voice recognition? My GWatch isn't nearly as slow. At the same time I'm also have terrible battery life.

  • Jk Jeeks

    "Please retrain voice model for OK Google."

    What I got when I watched the video.

  • ca

    Oooh, instead of reaching into my pocket, I can now stare at my wrist all day. Awesome!