Talk about teaching an old dog new tricks: Dutch hardware startup Enblink has built a simple dongle that turns any regular Google TV unit into a home automation and security hub.
The Enblink USB dongle, which will go on sale in September, will make it possible for users to control the lighting, check their security system or access IP cameras straight from their TV. Enblink also comes with mobile apps that make it possible to control the functionality of these devices from anywhere.
The dongle itself sells for $85, and Enblink is also selling starter packs that come with lighting control and security sensors. However, users don’t actually need to buy their sensors and controllers from the company. Enblink uses the Z-Wave networking standard, which means it’s compatible with a couple hundred third-party sensors and controllers.
So why did Enblink choose Google TV, even though other smart TV platforms are arguably a lot more popular? One word: Android. The system is based on Google’s mobile operating system, which also is the core of Google TV.
One thing that’s interesting about this product is that Google had very similar plans when it debuted its Android @home initiative a little more than two years ago. At the time, the company said that it was going to partner with third parties to sell its own Android-based networked light bulbs and home automation controllers. However, these kinds of devices have yet to materialize, and Google has kept mum on its plans for Android @home.