Google's Brillo is an OS for the Internet of Things

by Ostatic Staff - May. 29, 2015

Does the Internet of Things (IoT) need its own operating system? Google thinks it does, and has announced its own offering, Brillo, along with a new common language for connected devices called Weave. Brillo is based on Android and is aimed primarily at devices featuring slower processors and not a lot of memory. The Brillo platform manages and stores data collected by sensors in devices.

If Brillo doesn't sound all that ambitious, remember that many of the devices in homes and organizations that are being imbued with IoT intelligence are common objects that won't have a lot of processing power and memory.

 "Since Brillo is based on the lower levels of Android, you can choose from a wide range of hardware platforms and silicon vendors," Google reports. Meanwhile, Weave is positioned as communications-focused:

"Weave provides seamless and secure communication between devices both locally and through the cloud. It’s integrated into the Google mobile platform, so support is built-in to Android and easily available for iOS....The Weave program will drive interoperability and quality through a certification program that device makers must adhere to. As part of this program, Weave provides a core set of schemas that will enable apps and devices to seamlessly interact with each other...Nest and Nest ecosystem devices will also use Weave, so they can easily and securely interoperate with devices from other manufacturers."

 Brillo was announced at Google I/O. According to The Verge:

"Google is rejoining the Internet of Things platform wars. Today at its I/O conference, the company announced Brillo, the 'underlying operating system for the internet of things,' with a developer preview coming in Q3 of this year. Brillo is derived from Android but 'polished' to just the lower levels. It supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy, and other Android things."

Of course, The AllSeen Alliance is also evolving its common tools and platform for connecting IoT devices. As its leader Philip DesAutels told us in an interview, the Internet of Things is headed for big things in the coming years:

“In five years, I think all of this will be around us everywhere, in everything,” he said. “Predictions that were made three and four years ago have already come true in terms of the ubiquity of bandwidth, connectivity, the availability of radios, and more. We are going to have a lot of power to orchestrate the experiences that we want.”

“The next phase is going to be the really transformational phase,” DesAutels noted. “Systems around you will have a whole lot more information. They’ll be able to deliver a lot more value.”