The Information is back with more Google news before I/O. The outlet claims that Google is developing another operating system, this time for low-power "Internet of Things" (IoT) devices. The OS is codenamed "Brillo," and the publication claims Google "is likely to release the software under the Android brand, as the group developing the software is linked to the company’s Android unit." We're going to take that to mean "it's based on Android."
The report says Brillo will be aimed at ultra low-power devices with as little as 64 or 32MB of RAM. With the abundance of smart home technology like connected light bulbs, door locks, sensors, and whatever other crazy connected objects the IoT crowd dreams up on Kickstarter, Google clearly sees an opportunity.
Such devices need to boot up, use an SoC, handle input and output, and communicate over a network—all things the Linux-based Android OS is great at; it's just a little heavy right now. As was the case when Android entered the market, right now it's up to the hardware vendors themselves to create the IoT operating system. The Information says Google wants to move in and clean up the fragmented mess by offering Brillo for free to OEMs.
We've written before about Google's smart home ambitions, and it sounds like things are finally heating up. The company has snapped up Nest, Dropcam, and Revolv, a smart home hub manufacturer. The Android Team is apparently leading the development, though—not Nest, the Google unit most specifically attached to smart homes, making us wonder how much input Nest is providing.
Google also tried to enter the connected home before with Android@Home, but that unit quietly disappeared. The report says Google executives thought that “it was too early” and canned the project.
The best news is the timing: the report says Google will talk more about Brillo at I/O next week. So we'll have Android, Android Wear, Android TV, Android Auto, and Android... Home?.