By: Mina Samy
Android, Google’s mobile operating system that dominates the world market with 36% share seems to continue its invasion of new territories other than handsets and tablets. Android is going to get in Home automation, automotive industry, mobile payment and even military activities.
At Google I/O 2011 Google the Android@Home framework which will extend Android to home appliances. Android@Home is a set of protocols for controlling light switches and other home appliances through Android. Google revealed an example : "Project Tungsten," a wireless speaker system that can be synced via Android, as well as wireless light switches and other appliances.
Another aspect of this is the introduction of the Android open Accessory Development Kit (ADK) an API that allows external USB devices including keyboards, mice, and game controllers- based on the open source Arduino electronics platform - to be connected to Android powered devices.
Google demonstrated an exercise bike connected through USB to an Android phone, the phone launched an application that showed heart rate data from the cycle to the phone.
The ADK API currently supports connectivity through USB, but Bluetooth support is planned for the future.
Android in Automotive industry:
Open Handset Alliance member, Myriad Group, has announced the company is in discussions with several leading companies in the automotive industry to extend Android to the connected car. Drivers and passengers alike will benefit from the many high quality Android applications.
This will be achieved through Myriad Alien Dalvik which is Android's Dalvik VM ported to other systems thus bringing Android applications to non-Android devices
Alien Dalvik, was launched at Mobile World Congress 2011. It enables Android application to run without modification on a wide range of platforms and devices. This allows mobile operators, OEMs and the automotive industry to extend Android’s intense bionetwork of applications to the connected car. This will result in drivers as well as passengers having a vast choice of high quality Android applications that are customized for traveling and much more without compromising performance.
Android and NFC:
NFC (Near field communication) is a set of short-range wireless technologies, typically requiring a distance of 4 cm or less. It allows simplified transactions, data exchange, and connections with a touch.
NFC is used in many fields including Mobile Payment, file sharing, ticketing and gaming. Android introduced the NFC API in Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) allowing applications to read NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format) message in NFC tags.
In May Google introduced Google Wallet an Android app that stores virtual versions of your credit cards for use at checkout.
The US Army has begun developing apps for the mobile operating system that would help both soldiers on the ground and officers planning their next strategic move.
According to TG Daily:
The idea is to merge the increasingly ubiquitous Android platform with the military’s existing handheld devices so as to remain connected as much as possible.
By opening up to a mobile widespread platform, the Army hopes it can also pull in help from third-party developers to create new apps based on the organization’s existing technology and infrastructure.
The Army plans to open up the software development kit to developers over the course of the next couple years through a series of testing phases. If all goes according to plan, Android will be fully integrated into the military arsenal by 2013.
Previously The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) [Agency of United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technology for use by the military] announced its need to build a military App store based on Android to target includithe tactical battlefield, humanitarian missions, disaster recovery, and other mission areas. Example functionalities include command and control, reporting, mission planning, intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance, real-time collaboration, geospatial visualization, analysis, language translation, training, and logistics tracking.
The US Army has announced that it will soon throw open an Android dev kit allowing apps to be written for use by soldiers on a variety of combat handsets and devices.
The military Droid framework is known as Mobile/Handheld Computing Environment (CE)."Using the Mobile /Handheld CE Product Developers Kit, we're going to allow the third party developers to actually develop capabilities that aren't stovepiped," says Lt-Col Mark Daniels. Daniels is in charge of the Joint Battle Command-Platform (JBC-P) handheld device, which is essentially a military Droid phone: it is expected to be issued to US Army and Marine ground units from 2013.
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