Google Rebranded Project Brillio, The New “Android Things” OS Coming For IoT

IoT (internet of things) is slowly becoming an everyday reality. Just a few years ago the thought of having every household item hooked to the web was a bit over the top. Today we can see how IoT is expanding and slowly shape up testing, and developing in order to finally become a part of normal life for millions of users.

And Google wants to be a part of it. Since the company entered in lots of markets recently (Android TV, Android Wear, and Android Auto), it is not surprising Google wants to build an IoT platform. The company’s Internet of Things initiative for an operating system based on Android called Project Brillio is rebranded, and the new name of the massive project is “Android Things.”

Android Things is joining the already large family, alongside already mentioned Android Auto, Android Wear, and Android Auto. Android Things is basically Android OS made for cheap and relatively humble Internet of Things hardware. The OS is a stripped-down version of Android, keeping just elements needed in order for the OS to work properly with IoT.

Google Released developer preview with a “turnkey” support for the Intel Edison, NXP Pico, and the Raspberry Pi 3, three platforms that should be heavily used in Internet of Things. The raspberry Pi 3 appeared in Google’s AOSP repository a while ago, and now we discovered why that happened. Another important move by Google is partnering with the three companies in order to provide a smooth path from hardware aimed at developers, which is the first step towards a large-scale production. Google wants to enable developers and manufacturers a clear road in a long journey from developers to users.

All developers need is Android Things, Android APIs and Google Services, and they are ready to make a smart IoT device. The process is the same as on the full version of Android; Android Studio, the official SDK, and Google Play Services, just aimed towards IoT. Further, developers have a couple of interesting Google services at their disposal; Google Weave protocol is there to provide a communication between devices, with Google Cloud Vision for using cloud features. Google is releasing a public device SDK for the Weave protocol. In addition, developers are getting access to the management console and Google Assistant.

Since updates are the main problem with Android OS, Google is trying to make Android Things better by offering “updates direct from Google.” Basically, Google is providing Infrastructure for developers, allowing them to release OTA updates and images, whenever they want. IoT platform with regular updates is something new in IoT, and will probably greatly improve security, one of the biggest IoT problems at the moment.

We will soon see what Google plans to do with IoT, and in the coming months (and during the whole of 2017) we are going to see whether the company will push IoT further towards mass market.

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