Star Trek, the Nest and Ambient Computing
In a Slate interview from April 2013, a Google engineer said “The destiny of [Google’s search engine] is to become that Star Trek computer, and that’s what we are building.” An ambient, ever-present computer able to answer your questions, allow control over your home, provide you with relevant data, eventually make tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
So, what would this require? In order to converse with an ambient computer (to coin a phrase), you will need speakers and microphones in every room. The Nest Protect IS a speaker, and it already talks to you in a pleasant voice. Add a microphone with the new Motorola passive listening (also Google-owned) in every wall-mounted device, hook that up to Google Voice Search and you have something already very close to the Star Trek computer. It can hear you and speak to you wherever you wander through your house. I suggest the Nest purchase was simply part of the process of achieving what Slate called their "Single, towering obsession."
Next, you start adding "Things" components and IFTTT-like customizations. The thermostat and smoke alarm are already there. You add the stove ("Computer: preheat stove to 375"), the security system ("Computer: I am going to bed" which locks all the doors, and turns out all the lights), the entertainment system ("Computer: play the next episode of Sherlock on Plex in my living room" or "play Beethoven's 6th" either through a Sonos, or those very speakers) and, of course, your communication ("Computer: tell Marilyn to pick up some milk on the way home"). Eventually 3D printers/replicators? Sexy Scarlet Johanson voice from "Her" is optional.
Here is that Slate article: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/04/google_has_a_single_towering_obsession_it_wants_to_build_the_star_trek_computer.single.html #nest #startrek #google