Hey Google, ask HouseBook where the spare batteries are?

HouseBook is a very interesting and potentially useful service launched only last week. The video above explains the idea clearly. You use the HouseBook app to make an inventory of where all your “stuff” is located within your house. Where are the tea-towels, cleaning products, spare bedding.. you get the idea. You record locations in a logical way: Room > Container > Sub Container. So for example, socks might be Bedroom 1 > Chest of drawers > second drawer. You have the ability to add additional text to add description to any step. In the example above Bedroom 1 could have directions associated with it (upstairs, second door on the left). You also have the ability to add photographs to further illustrate every step. I imagine when designing this service the developers had their eye on the massive global AirBnB market. They also list potential uses like creating an inventory for insurance or as a guide for visitors to your home or business.

It is the integration with Google Home that has the potential to make HouseBook stand out as a service. I say potential, as I have not properly tested HouseBook yet. I have installed the app and looked at the web interface. Adding rooms, containers and items is very easy; you are guided through the process. So far so good and as a concept, it is brilliant, how it works in practice and the Google Home integration will have to wait for a later post. It’s that ability to ask Google Home for information on the location of items in your home that makes this an exciting Assistive Technology. It could be a fantastic support for someone with memory or cognitive difficulties living independently. For those better with visual cues, the trail of photographs leading to the sought after item should also be very helpful.   

I hope to properly test HouseBook over the next few weeks and report back. In the meantime why not test it out yourselves? It is free to register and download the app, in fact I can’t see how this service makes money for its developer, which is a little worrying in this day and age.

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