Android Is Still Headed Beyond Just Smartphones

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 24, 2009

Earlier this month, when Google announced its Chrome OS and made clear that it is headed for netbooks, the news curbed many of the predictions people were making about the Android operating system's prospects on netbooks. Google officials made clear that they were steering Android toward smartphones. That hasn't stalled all of the efforts to bring Android to platforms other than smartphones, though. As PC World points out, device maker Touch Revolution is working on several types of touch-screen devices based on Android, including a line of cutting-edge remote controls for homes. Meanwhile, Japan's OESF (Open Embedded Software Foundation) continues to push forward with plans to deliver devices running Android as an embedded operating system.

According to this blog post from Touch Revolution, which is looking to deliver several types of touch-screen devices based on Android:

"We think Android is a game-changer in this changing market because it is a solid, open application framework built for touch, and built to enable connected services. Android provides a common rallying point for hardware and application software development, providing the interoperability necessary to drive investment and innovation. If you want to make intelligent and connected consumer electronics devices, we do not think you get there by taking a PC and downsizing it to a consumer electronics form factor. We think you get there by taking a mobile phone with an open application framework built for touch, then scaling the technology to multiple CE form factors."

Touch Revolution is looking at sophisticated, WiFi-enabled remote controls for homes based on Android, including media controlling devices, and you can watch a video of its NIMble touchscreen desktop phone based on Android here. The NIMble phone was shown at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Japan's OESF (Open Embedded Software Foundation) only recently debuted its web site in English, and has mostly flown under the radar as an Android-focused organization. However, ARM, Fujitsu Software Technologies, KDDI, Japan Cable Laboratories, and many other big companies are members of the OESF. EETimes has reported on the OESF's plans to bring Android, as an embedded operating system, to set-top boxes, TVs and VoIP phones.

As far as Android phones go, there are also reports of new Android handsets for the European market to arrive from Chinese companies. Google's Chrome OS will undoubtedly slow down some of the plans that were in place for Android-based netbooks, but Android will continue to find its way into many niche product categories and embedded solutions, just as other flavors of Linux have.