If smartphones and wearables got their own versions of Android, then why shouldn’t there be one for the Internet of Things, too? Rumor has it that Google might launch one as early as next week, at their I/O Conference.
When Google purchased Nest Labs, the makers of a learning thermostat, back in January 2014, it became quite obvious that Mountain View means to get involved in the IoT industry (just in case the whole Android @Home project didn’t make that clear already). While the company hasn’t made any official announcements regarding the launch of a software for connected devices, word got out that a new OS, designed specifically for low-power devices, is in the works. Brillo (endearment for brilliant?), as the software is called internally, could work with devices with as little memory as 32MB or 64MB of RAM. I doubt that a fridge (don’t worry, we’ll have smart refrigerators soon enough) requires more than that!
It’s also unclear whether Google will keep this moniker or launch the new software under an Android name. The latter option might actually boost people’s confidence in the new product, as most of them already know how versatile Android is.
There’s also a chance Mountain View might launch the IoT OS as a barebone software, hoping that manufacturers of connected devices (didn’t think that Google would keep this all to itself, now did you?) would pick up the framework and develop on it. After all, a little spark may be everything the IoT industry needs to really go mainstream.
In my humble opinion, the Internet of Things represents a new battlefield for the big names of the tech industry. We may not know exactly when Google will launch Brillo (even though the chances of it being unveiled at the I/O conference are pretty great), but it’s clear that the search giant is working on a software for IoT. Huawei has also announced an operating system developed specifically for the Internet of Things, and I’m willing to bet that Microsoft won’t sit and watch. Personally, I’m more interested to see what Xiaomi has in store for us in this department. This Chinese company could overturn the current situation, especially if it gets to sell its connected devices outside of China.
Until then, we’ll have to wait and see if Google will really launch Brillo at their upcoming conference.