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article imageGoogle Brillo aims to power the Internet of Things

By James Walker     May 29, 2015 in Technology
At its IO developers conference yesterday, Google unveiled a new operating system called "Brillo". Essentially a stripped-down version of Android, Brillo will power Internet of Things devices, driving interconnectivity and enabling seamless control.
Like a lot of things unveiled at I/O this year, Brillo isn't available for the public to try yet. The operating system, billed as the "underlying operating system for the internet of things", will be made available in developer preview form from the third quarter of this year but there is no word on when it will become generally available.
Brillo is designed specifically for Internet of Things devices. It will seamlessly interact with Android phones and tablets but has been stripped down to include only the vital components that IoT devices require, saving power and space. WiFi, Bluetooth and other essential connectivity protocols are all present but aspects of Android that are only required for phones and tablets have been cut out.
This means that it can run on pretty much anything. Brillo could be seen in fridges, doorbells, smoke alarms, toasters, sinks, flowerpots or dustbins, all feeding data back to your Android phone, communicating with each other and making intelligent decisions.
Google is also developing a cross-platform programming language that will allow Brillo devices to send and receive data from each other, hassle-free. This won't be ready until the fourth quarter of the year.
Called "Weave", Brillo will upload to Weave-powered servers which Android phones can connect to. The phone can then send data back to the Brillo device. Manufacturers will have to ensure that their products adhere to the Weave specifications so that every Brillo-powered Internet of Things object can communicate with its peers. Google's SVP of products, Sundar Pichai, described Brillo as "the beginning of a journey" and a "comprehensive solution" for the Internet of Things.
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