See updates fresh from Google I/O conf added at the bottom
Google is reportedly developing a new operating system (OS) under the Android brand, aimed at running low-powered devices (as low as 64 or even 32 MB RAM), which are very common in today’s connected world. If the new operating system, code-named ‘Brillo’, gains similar traction as the Android brand, it may become the engine running the multitude of connected devices now looking for a common platform. Google may also offer it free of charge for OEMs to increase penetration.
This is not the first indication that Google wants to be the framework that drives the Internet of Things (IoT). Last year Google initiated the Thread Group, an open consortium of industry leaders which by now has over 80 members, with the goal of defining the communications protocol for the Internet of Things. Last month the Thread Group also partnered with the ZigBee Alliance, the alliance behind the popular ZigBee open wireless standard for IoT, to support interoperability and enable the ZigBee Cluster Library to run over Thread networks.
Google also promotes IoT on the research front. Last December Google launched an open IoT research program called the “Open Web of Things”, to encourage research around burning topics in IoT such as security, privacy and protocols.
Another interesting angle that I bet Google will explore is the integration with its latest big data cloud offering to enable processing, storage and analytics of the massive amounts of data generated by the IoT, enhancing its cloud’s IoT solutions.
What exactly is the new ‘Brillo’ OS? How does it relate to the Thread Group’s protocol? How will that integrate with Google’s cloud offering? We’ll probably get more information in a couple of days at Google I/O conference.
Follow Dotan on Twitter!
Update: Today at Google I/O conference we got the official announcement of Brillo OS. There wasn’t much more detail than the above, but one note was made on developer tools for voice commands, so people could “order” their devices with natural language. And here’s the developer website for Project Brillo.
More importantly, together with Brillo Google announced Weave, which seems like yet another standard for the common language of the Internet of Things. With Weave communications protocol, events can be defined by one device and followed by others to trigger custom actions. We’ll have to wait for the full detail on that, to understand how Weave is different from the multitude of other standards.