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Android Hub Coming To T-Mobile

We’ve speculated about the wide range of devices that could be based on Android and how they could revolutionize everything from in-vehicle communication and entertainment to household info centers. The speculation is over – it is no longer a matter of “if” but “when”. The New York Times is reporting that confidential T-Mobile documents discuss a “home phone” based on Android for release in early 2010!

I call the unannounced and unnamed device the “Android Hub” because of Verizon’s recent launch of their “Verizon Hub” product which sounds similar on the surface. However, when you consider the possibilities Android introduces it is an entirely different ball game. According to the article the home phone has a 7-inch touchscreen with no physical keyboard and, “would handle basic computing jobs like checking the weather or managing data across a variety of devices in the home.”

android-hub

In my January article covering the NIMble Desk Phone I suggest some possibilities that an Android Based Desk Phone could offer once 3rd party manufacturers jump on board:

If these types of devices become staples in the household, appliance makers and other companies would have a huge incentive to create ways to control them through the device. For example, you could press a button on your NIMble desk phone in the theoretical future to:

  • Make you a pot of coffee
  • Let the dog in the sliding door, showing you video of the dog coming in
  • Control you home entertainment center
  • Change brightness/dim of lights up/down or on/off
  • Start or turn out your fireplace
  • Check to see what lights in your huge house are on/off
  • Check to make sure all your appliances are off before you leave
  • Start your car remotely to heat it up
  • Act as a baby monitor
  • Use it to control your home security system

And now it seems this is exactly what T-Mobile is working towards, although you’ve got to crawl before you can walk. The NYTimes article suggests T-Mobile’s motives:

T-Mobile shares in this grand vision of more sophisticated devices in the home. For instance, its line of Cameo digital picture frames can receive new photos sent via e-mail or from cellphones. T-Mobile would like to link phones, photo frames, digital cameras, security systems, webcams and TVs through its software and networking services.

T-Mobile is apparently working on “a variety of communications devices” and these include the home phone and a tablet computer… what other treats could we have in store? Unfortunately it’ll likely be at least a year until we see this “Android Hub” make its way to market, but thankfully that will be plenty of time for Android to mature a bit as a platform with more solid applications and a more polished OS overall.

I wonder if Google will have an Android Developer Challenge centered around different devices like perhaps an ADC Home Edition where applications are developed with the purpose of in-home use in mind? I hope to see an ADC 2 before then but I’m getting sidetracked here. Android may only have 1 mass appeal consumer device launched but worldwide attention is really starting to ramp up. Americans might not know T-Mobile as one of the more powerful carriers domestically, but globally that is EXACTLY what they are. And with Android devices from big brand names all on the way, it is only a matter of time before the Android volcano erupts, launching Android love across the entire land.

Next up: Ford and GM confirm my April Fools Day joke as reality and announce an Android Car. Please… pretty pretty please?




  • johnkzin

    Back in January, when we first saw the Nimble, I want it to use as an alarm clock, tied into my Google Calendar. Especially if I can have different calendars within Googel Calendar only throw alarms at certain places (ie. I only want my wake-up alarm to ring in the bedroom; but my “go catch the bus to come home” alarm I want to only ring on my phone).

    I’m still hoping that comes to pass. But the idea that it might be tied to T-Mobile might be interesting. Especially if it will act as a T-Mobile Hotspot@Home device, and/or as a femtocell device.

  • http://www.ihomesecuritysystems.com johnkzin

    Back in January, when we first saw the Nimble, I want it to use as an alarm clock, tied into my Google Calendar. Especially if I can have different calendars within Googel Calendar only throw alarms at certain places (ie. I only want my wake-up alarm to ring in the bedroom; but my “go catch the bus to come home” alarm I want to only ring on my phone).

    I’m still hoping that comes to pass. But the idea that it might be tied to T-Mobile might be interesting. Especially if it will act as a T-Mobile Hotspot@Home device, and/or as a femtocell device.
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  • Tyler Miller

    I’ve always thought the @home service had huge potential, but as of yet haven’t been able to get behind it. This is the product I was waiting for to prove me right. And it’s Android to boot! Whoop! My next question: Will it have the Market? ;-)

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  • erik

    imagine it, this could evolve into a hub for your entire home. with the market and open source software. you could wire your lights to turn on when you come home, watch your home from your mobile, an all inclusive media center, the possibilites are endless.

  • James

    I have been a T-mobile customer since the VoiceStream days and like their efforts in introducing new innovative products and services along with an open system approach. I have a G1 and it is great. I am looking forward to an Android powered home station or tablet. I recently migrated my home phone to a T-Mobile UMA phone that works as a cell and over wifi seemlessly. The $10/month unlimited wifi calling replaced a $30/mo land line and it has been a very positive change. I hope that any offering on the home station or tablet front will take advantage of my current setup and expand Android to other devices in my home.

  • Teri

    Not even close to the intended purpose, but when I see the bottom picture, I think, “Hooray, just reverse that phone to the other side, make it a G1, and it’s that thing I want!. There’s a keyboard that folds up somewhere, right?”

    I mean, doesn’t everyone want a little netbook that can use their phone alternately for a mouse, a proper number imput pad, a VOIP phone,(I still don’t have free international calling) all while recharging it?

  • Sonny

    Yawn. The problem with the landline replacement devices (and that’s the primary reason these exist) is that DSL’s market penetration makes this a dumb buy because you either have to keep the landline for it to function or switch to another broadband delivery system. For the tech savvy consumer, this doesn’t offer anything that a good PC wouldn’t.

  • Glenda Butaud

    To Whom It May Concern;

    As a dedicated T-Mobile customer I implore you to reveal the necessary qualifications to participate in assessing the impending Android Hub in collaboration with my t-mobile@home account. I am amazed with the technological advancements and would really enjoy participating with this particular venture. Please contact me with any/all information available to this southern bell in the Golden Traingle.

    Sincerely,
    Android Admirer

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