Microsoft: Xbox One part of its future 'Home 2.0' plans

Last week's reveal of Microsoft's Xbox One console made it clear that the device will be used for a lot more than just playing games. Microsoft designed it to be a full entertainment platform for watching video, chatting with friends via Skype and more.

Now there's word that the Xbox One could evolve into more than just an TV box. Fastcodesign reports that Microsoft has a long term plan that has the console as the center of an automated home system. In fact, the plan is informally called 'Home 2.0' at Microsoft, although Marc Whitten, the corporate vice president of Xbox Live, does admit, "I’m not saying it’s a good name", and that the final term will change when it goes public.

Basically, the Xbox One could help control a number of a home systems, from lighting to appliances to security. In fact, Microsoft acquired id8 Group R2 Studios, which created an Android home automation app, earlier this year as part of those plans. Whitten says, "You need those [devices] in a central hub as an experience to bring all these things together."

Whitten hints that the next version of Microsoft's Xbox SmartGlass app might incorporate some of those home automation needs with the Xbox One. Microsoft is also working more with "advanced IR blasters" which the Kinect sensor uses. The cumulative effect is that over the next few years the Xbox One could turn from an entertainment box to a home automation hub, much like the Xbox 360 has evolved from a games console to adding streaming media features.

Source: Fastcodesign | Image via Microsoft

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Powering devices on and off with wifi is a very simple addition to any appliance. Walk in a room and say "lights on". Your LED wifi bulbs turn on. Say "turn on music", music plays. It sounds nice.

I'm sure they'll release some standard for other wifi products like locks and garage doors, etc.

Sounds great. If they can streamline functions and make it easy to use, that'd be sweet. A Metro-style interface for accessing home automation stuff would make sense and I've been hoping for that from MS.

I cannot remember which one but many years ago I had a MS PDA, or Pocket PC, which included an application to control a domotized house. It was not very sophisticated and it was never updated, actually it was not even included in the next iteration of the OS, but the idea was great.

The problem with home automation in general is it's a solution in search of a problem. I've fiddled with X-10 and whatnot, and it's fun to play with but really quite useless when it comes right down to it.

Spicoli said,
The problem with home automation in general is it's a solution in search of a problem. I've fiddled with X-10 and whatnot, and it's fun to play with but really quite useless when it comes right down to it.

The new systems (Nest, Hue, etc.) are great and enable a ton of useful features in my opinion, from managing temperature, power, security, etc. while at work or on vacation, to simply automating every-day activities (turning on/off lights or temperature zone controls). Definitely not useless if people know how it can make things easier.

I am all for this and cannot wait until I get my hands on an Xbox One BUT... if it runs as loud as my "much quieter" Xbox 360 runs now then I will be just using it for games. The Xbox 360 is so loud compared to my Apple TV OR Sky HD box.

If it requires any re-wiring then it's basically a non-starter. However, I'd be interested in a wireless solution that's supported by standards. Remote access would be great as well.

FloatingFatMan said,
MS have been trying to do this home automation nonsense for years. They're never going to get anywhere with it.

I'm sure they will as long as homes keep getting more connected.

FloatingFatMan said,
MS have been trying to do this home automation nonsense for years. They're never going to get anywhere with it.

Salk has been working on this polio vaccine nonsense for years. He's never going to get anywhere with it.

Statements like that are just asinine. "They haven't made it yet so they should just quit!"

siah1214 said,

Salk has been working on this polio vaccine nonsense for years. He's never going to get anywhere with it.

Statements like that are just asinine. "They haven't made it yet so they should just quit!"

The difference being, people WANT a polio vaccine, no one wants home automation.

Pygmy_Hippo said,
(raises hand).......erm.....I do

The tiny percentage of geeks on a tech news site don't count. Of COURSE you'll get a high percentage of people on here who want it.

The people that count, consumers, don't.

At Best Buy, there were these Belkin home automation products (WeMo I think) that let you utilize an app to control things within your house. They had an end-cap on an aisle setup with these, yet I don't think they even sold one as the shelf had looked untouched for months. They barely got rid of it actually...

Now they've got some new stuff from Insteon, but I'm not sure how well those are selling just yet.

Exactly my point. Home automation is firmly in the purvue of a VERY small minority of tech geeks. General home consumers just aren't interested in this sort of thing.

As much as I dislike them, Apple -may- be able to raise public interest in such a thing, but Microsoft? Not a chance.

Well google is going for full automated everything. Although a different aproach then Microsoft.
Microsoft goes for the 'technology all around you' and Google for the "you are the technology". Give it time, Microsoft is in it for the long term. Their final unification of Windows to a single kernel and platform started 20 years ago... And the Xbox runs its own OS for the games. So it isnt even completely done yet. Although it seems to share the same kernel, as it is with WP8 basically.
And they are slowly entering your surroundings, home etc. by entering through the console and phone. Different then MS envisioned, but they finally got a bigger foot into the door then they did with just Windows.
Its a long term vision of Microsoft and we wont know if it works out untill we're a decade or more into the future.

FloatingFatMan said,

The difference being, people WANT a polio vaccine, no one wants home automation.


Not to be rude, but that is a very short-sighted statement. I hope you don't consider yourself a "forward thinker" but if you do - maybe practice elsewhere first .

coderchi said,

I am going to tell you what many people here would like to tell you... You Sir are a F*3$#$ 1d10T! Go troll somewhere else. I am sure many people would love Home Automation and it's been proven that there is a market out there and moreso when they make setup seamless. You should speak for yourself not try to make it as if you have any say.

And you "sir", are a child. Grow up.

DARKFiB3R said,
Home automation is something I would be very interested in.

If you listen to the Major Nelson podcast you pick up a lot of hints about what they're planning. Major Nelson and e have been talking about the process of setting up home automation at their residences with everything from the Nest thermostat to the garage door control and monitoring.