Google has announced its intention to expand its Android operating system beyond mobiles and tablets, to Internet of Things devices, with its new Brillo platform. Based on Android, the platform will rival Apple's HomeKit, unveiled at WWDC last year, and enable interoperability between a vast range of IoT products.
Speaking at Google I/O 2015 on Thursday, Google SVP, Products, Sundar Pichaiannounced Brillio, and an operating system IoT devices meant to capture the growing trend to connect daily objects like dishwashers, locks and air conditioners to the Internet. Brillo is said to extend the Android platform to connected devices, making them easy to set up and work seamlessly with each other.
He added that a system called "Weave" will make it possible for devices to communicate among themselves and for a lock connected to the Internet to be able to send "open" or "closed" messages to the owner's device or computer. Both systems, Brillo and Weave, will be available in late 2015.
In a blog post, Pichai detailed the need for such an operating system, saying: "Enter Project Brillo, a new platform derived from Android that lets developers and manufacturers build connected devices. As part of Brillo, we're introducing a communications protocol (Weave) developed in partnership with Nest, a set of developer APIs, a core set of schemas and a certification program to ensure device and app interoperability.
"Although it will launch later this year, we previewed Brillo because we're committed to fostering a vibrant ecosystem in which we all work together to move the industry forward."
Google says since Brillo is based on the lower levels of Android, there will be broad support in terms of the range of hardware platforms and vendors. Development work will also be streamlined, with firms able to work on hardware and applications instead of developing their own framework.
The Weave protocol is integrated into the Google mobile platform, and support will be available for both Android and iOS. Nest and Nest ecosystem devices will also use Weave, for further interoperability with devices from other manufacturers.