Google IO 2011 – Google goes Roomware?

Posted on May 11, 2011


I posted earlier in an update on “Hacking with Android, pt 8” about the IOIO that circumvents the issues with Android not able to host USB devices and Android having a complete lack of supporting USB devices (unless the device manufacturer makes some effort like Archos does).

With Android 3.1 this seems to be changed. And Google seems to go head-on with their USB stuff.

Keynote summary

I was not able to see the keynote myself. Instead I scanned this summary by Engadget and this overview at developers.Android.

Brief, the “Roomware” related announcements cover:

  1. Android Open Accessory – Android 3.1 supports USB devices and offer access to the USB stack
  2. Android ADKThe Accessory Development Kit – Apparently Google has developed a “communication protocol to communicate to hardware”. It might be just a discovery service like Microsoft is offering, or something bigger.
  3. Android Hardware – There will be hardware coming, “compatible with Android”. See the Engadged summary at 12:47PM – “LightingScience will start selling Android-compatible lights by the end of this year”
  4. Tungsten – The Android@home solution Google is working on, making it possible to connect to devices in your home

Good reads

  1. MakeZine – About Googles choice for Arduino

IOIO, Arduino and Google

I just ordered 3 IOIOs. They are on back order from SparkFun now.

IOIO (YoYo) is developed with people from the Google team and the projects apparently was started somewhere in October 2010.

YoYo is kind of like combining a USB Host Shield with an Arduino Board. It uses the USB Debugging Mode on Android to communicate with the Android device.

With the USB Host now officially part of Android, directly addressing an Arduino-ish board has become doable. And that is where we are today.


In the past week I have been revamping the “Roomware Socket Server” based on the principles mentioned in an earlier post from December 2010, the revamp codenamed: “HotForestGreen“. It is a platform-agnostic framework, using JSON as its primary protocol to serialize and de-serialize objects.

I have no clue what the Google framework looks like yet or how it overlaps the things I cooked up.

It might be mutually supplemental, boosting anything that The Roomware Project, VURB with Urbanode or myself are doing. It might be partially or completely competitive. We’ll see.

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