Google revamped Project Brillo, an operating system for the Internet of Things (IoT) unveiled in 2015, into Android Things, which it describes as a comprehensive way to build IoT products with the power of Android.

The search giant released a developer preview of the new system through which any Android developer can: “quickly build a smart device using Android APIs and Google services, while staying highly secure with updates direct from Google.”

Google said it incorporated feedback from Project Brillo to include tools such as Android Studio, the Android Software Development Kit, Google Play Services and Google Cloud Platform.

IoT communications platform Weave will also be updated to make it easier for all types of devices to connect to the cloud and interact with services including Google Assistant.

Snapdragon processors coming
Qualcomm already announced plans to add support for Android Things in its Snapdragon processors.

“By using expertise in Android and Snapdragon processors to support development of a variety of connected devices aimed at both consumer and industrial applications, this initiative intends to help a vast number of developers participate in the IoT opportunity,” Qualcomm said.

The company said it anticipates Android Things running on Snapdragon processors will offer developers familiar connectivity environments including cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radio access, as well as camera, graphics, multimedia and rich user interface capabilities.

Hardware-based security and cloud integration combined with test and optimisation tools will allow for rapid development of scalable, cost-effective and security-focused IoT solutions, Qualcomm stated, adding that Android Things is set to be released more broadly on Snapdragon processors next year.

In 2015, when Google CEO Sundar Pichai (then SVP of products) introduced Brillo, he said: “people are making connected devices… but it’s really hard for developers and device makers. Just like in the early days of smartphones, you don’t know exactly how to build your software stack. Developers don’t know how to target these experiences. And finally, for users it is really difficult to make all of this work together.”

Pichai added that Google: “collaborated closely, we’ve pulled in people from the Nest, Android and Chrome OS teams, to take a fundamentally new approach to the Internet of Things. And we want to provide an end-to-end, complete solution for our ecosystem.”