The Internet of Things (IoT) is a frontier ripe with possibilities, as the smart devices all around you — in your home, your job, even your car — talk to each other to make your life simpler. Too bad it's such a fractured mess.
Today at Google I/O 2015, a new solution was announced that Google hopes will make life easier for developers creating devices and apps for smart devices. All our devices usually talk and function in different languages, but Google wants to put them on a common ground. This can be a nightmare for developers who want their smart devices to be, well, smart.
"Project Brillo" is Google's operating system for the Internet of Things. It's the product of teams from Android, Chrome OS and Nest working together, and it's built on Android. Unlike what's on your phone, it lowers Android's layers, scaling it down to the most essential functions so that it will run on smart devices with a minimal footprint. This should be music to developers' ears — especially the indies with lower budgets like those who are always showing up on Kickstarter.
In addition to Brillo, Google announced "Weave," the communications layer for IoT. In layman's terms, Weave will enable IoT devices to talk to each other, and it's available cross-platform. Devs can run it on top of an existing stack or in conjunction with Brillo.
Labeling these new innovations "a comprehensive end-to-end solution" for the Internet of Things, Google noted that any Android device — phone, smartwatch, etc. — will be able to understand commands from Brillo and Weave. Even better, Android devices will automatically detect devices using Brillo and/or Weave. It also has built-in support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Brillo is expected to launch in the third quarter of 2015, with Weave following in the fourth quarter.