I/O 2015: Weaving the IoT with Project Brillo

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/juniorbeep)

In yesterday's I/O prediction article, we speculated Google would launch a lightweight OS to power the Internet of Things and compete against the likes of Microsoft and Huawei. That operating system came to fruition as 'Project Brillo' and is based on a stripped-down Android derivative which can run on low-power devices. 

Google has kept the lower-levels of Android - such as its Linux kernel modifications and hardware abstraction layers - in order to control multiple devices from a centralised software location. Perhaps more important, however, is Google's new standard for devices to communicate with one another... 

Along with Brillo, Google announced 'Weave' which allows devices to share what they are, the state they are in, and what they can do with others on the network even if from other manufacturers. In the smart home - where not everyone wants to commit to a single brand - this is important and the lack of a leading standard has been one of the biggest hurdles in the IoT uptake so far. 

Of course Google has to convince the world its standard is the way forward. Apple has its HomeKit, but that assumes all users are on iOS. Weave wins here because it is a cross-platform common language (based on JSON) and will allow developers to support their users on whatever platform they choose. 

Perhaps the biggest stand-out feature of Weave is an evolving set of schemas: 

Weave will ship with a set of schemas, but developers can submit more to Google if one for their specific device isn’t available. This will be subject to a certification process before being made available to others. 

Geoff Blaber, Vice President, Americas at CCS Insight comments: "Google’s Brillo and Weave IoT announcements represent further evidence of growing standards fragmentation. Nonetheless, the moves stand to better integrate Google’s own offerings and underlines the company's strength by virtue of its raft of services and Android installed base.” 

He continues: “It's increasingly clear that consumers are sleepwalking into a world where huge swathes of their personal data reside with Apple, Google or both. Today’s announcements underlined that for both photos and the emerging Internet of Things segment." 

Google plans to release the developer preview of Project Brillo in Q3, while the WEAVE API standard is supposed to see its publication in Q4 later in the year. 

What do you think about Google's IoT announcements? Let us know in the comments. 


If you are interested in IoT, please visit IoT Tech Expo Europe in London's Olympia, December 2-3 2015.


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