Google Debuts 'Project Brillo' OS Concept for Internet of Things
At its 2015 I/O developers conference in San Francisco, Google introduced the concept of Project Brillo -- a polished-down version of the Android operating system that will help manage the Internet of Things and its connected devices. Senior Vice President of Products Sundar Pichai outlined the broad brush strokes of Project Brillo during his opening keynote Thursday, May 28.
Brillo is an evolved version of Android that will be able to manage a wide range of connected devices in the fast-developing Internet of Things (IoT) environment, he said. In addition to offering broad-based support and easy-to-manage security, Brillo will be able to be controlled from a central management console.
Along with Brillo, Pichai also unveiled Weave, a communications layer that will allow IoT devices to actually "talk" with one another. A developer preview of Brillo is due out in the third quarter of this year, while Weave is set to roll out sometime in the fourth quarter.
Aiming for Standardization
Raul Castanon-Martinez, senior analyst for enterprise mobility and cloud at 451 Research, was in the audience during Pichai's keynote introduction for Project Brillo.
He told us the main thing about Project Brillo, in his opinion, is that, "Google is taking a stab at standardization." As a spinoff from Android, Brillo will "allow seamless integration for developers working across devices and the IoT," he added.
Brillo's impact is likely to be felt first in the consumer IoT market, Castanon-Martinez said, which includes things like wearables and the connected home. Consider for example, that Google owns Nest, the smart-thermostat company, and Project Brillo could be used to control such devices. However, it will also apply to the industrial market for the Internet of Things, controlling enterprise systems and the like.
"An important element is the integration with Google Now for voice recognition using natural language understanding, as well as gestures," Castanon-Martinez noted. "This will allow users to control connected devices using the capabilities of their smartphone."
Brillo is a "key milestone because Google is not starting from square one, but rather leveraging its existing Android footprint and developer base for the IoT," he said.
In other words, Google is building not just an IoT operating system but "an ecosystem that ties everything together: mobile devices, IoT, interconnectivity and a common language. This is an important step towards standardization, which until now remains a challenge for the adoption of IoT," Castanon-Martinez said.
Weave will also form an important building block in that ecosystem, as Pichai said it will include a certification program for cross-platform compatibility, ensuring that a Weave-certified device can work together with any other Weave-certified device.
The Internet of Things includes any sensor, smartphone, smart appliance or other device that can communicate and share data with other networked people and devices, according to Cisco. The numbers of these types of devices have grown rapidly in just a few years, to the point that there are now 1.5 connected, smart devices for every person on Earth.
Posted: 2015-06-07 @ 10:02am PT
@Chris - Thanks for the catch. Date corrected to May 28.
Posted: 2015-06-07 @ 10:00am PT
"...during his opening keynote Thursday, June 28". He's got a time machine? Wow...