Google announced it is putting more focus on helping partners build smart speakers and displays with its Android Things OS going forward, scaling back the platform’s support for a wider array of connected devices.
In a statement, Dave Smith, developer advocate for IoT at Google, said the company had worked closely with partners over the past year “to create consumer products powered by Android Things”, with it’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered Google Assistant built in.
“Given the successes we have seen with our partners in smart speakers and smart displays, we are refocusing Android Things as a platform for OEM partners to build devices in those categories moving forward,” he said.
Introduced in December 2016, Android Things was positioned as an extension to its operating system covering a number of IoT devices including smart light bulbs, plugs, thermostats and more.
It followed up in May 2018 with the release of Android Things 1.0, which extended support to smart displays, speakers and other IoT devices.
The release also added support for production System on Modules (SoMs) based on NXP, Qualcomm and MediaTek hardware, which it has now removed as part of the refocus.
Engadget noted that while Android Things was intended to bring intelligent capabilities to different types of devices, the shift to AI-based platforms like Google Assistant have moved control to the cloud, and the smartest home devices are speakers and smart displays.
Smith said Android Things will continue to be a platform to allow companies to experiment with, and build, connected devices on hardware like Raspberry Pi, using the Android Things SDK. It also remains dedicated to providing a managed plaform for IoT devices, including turnkey and hardware solutions.