Google continues to roll out new details about its wirelessly-controlled “smart” lightbulb, which gets around all the problems usually associated with making a home energy-aware. The latest: the company is working on open-source software that will run on the lightbulbs themselves.
Instead of re-wiring your house and connecting it to an expensive home energy-management system, Google's new bulbs will contain everything you need to program them to go on and off at certain times, or to turn themselves off after you (and your Android phone, with which they communicate) leave the room.
Sticking a computer inside a lightbulb might seem like an expensive way to achieve smart home energy management, but the chips the company plans to use will cost as little as $1.70, and less for volume buyers.
It's not yet clear exactly which wireless standard the bulbs will use when communicating with a computer or smartphone, but the '6LowPAN' standard Google's settled on is compatible with Wi-Fi. That means it will probably be possible to control these things from anywhere. Which means, I guess, one more thing hackers can take over. Might want to brush up on your password security before you fill your house with these things, or you’ll come home to find some MIT wiseass playing Pong with your track lighting.