Imagine…You open your home PC…but instead of running your office suite, or your internet connection, you look at your home appliances…start your coffee, run the microwave oven, start your TV. And your devices are running on a Home Operating System. Unreal? Not possible?
Well, Microsoft is now testing a home-automation OS.
From Microsoft’s Research paper on the topic:
“Network devices for the home such as remotely controllable locks, lights, thermostats, cameras, and motion sensors are now readily available and inexpensive. In theory, this enables scenarios like remotely monitoring cameras from a smartphone or customizing climate control based on occupancy patterns. However, in practice today, such smart home scenarios are limited to expert hobbyists and the rich because of the high overhead of managing and extending current technology.”
So Microsoft is putting in play their own brand of home OS to address the issues that would be difficult or expensive or too unique to be worth applying to the home.
While in theory there may be users that are attentive to the innovation, Microsoft has made the move to see how far the theory can actually go. So Microsoft has put the HomeOS in 12 real homes over the past four to eight months. Moreover, 42 students have built new applications and added additional devices to support it, as well. The basis is the HomeOS program.
HomeOS is a centralized home-automation operating system that can handle many different kinds of devices from TVs, to smartphones, to lights. The prototype operating system is built on the .Net Framework and all of the proposed drivers and apps are also .Net-based.
Just when the results of the program will be made public is not known, if ever. Because the results would have to show that such an OS would make the home environment better than it is now. But that is a subjective notion.