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Google I/O 2015: Google unveils Brillo as operating system for Internet of Things

The most common hotspot for the Internet of Things, according to Google's product chief, is the smart home.
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Written by Rachel King, Staff Writer on

SAN FRANCISCO---After weeks of speculation, Google has unveiled Project Brillo, the Internet giant's underlying operating system architected for the Internet of Things movement.

"There are a whole range of possibilities you can imagine," said Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president of product at the start of the Google I/O developer summit on Thursday.

The most common thing, according to Pichai, being talked about now is the smart home.

CNET: Google I/O 2015

Pichai suggested imagining a farmer managing a farm from a smartphone or a city public transportation systems from traffic to parking spots also on the same platform.

However, Pichai acknowledged a number of hurdles for developers and consumers alike.

"You don't know how to build your software stack," Pichai remarked to the developers in the audience. "For users, it's really confusing to make all of this work together."

Pichai credited Nest, one of Google's most notable multi-billion acquisitions as of late, for taking traditional devices and reimagining them for users with the thermostat and smoke detectors, just to start.

Thus, Pichai promised Google plans to take a "fundamentally different approach" to the Internet of Things in the form of Brillo.

Derived from Android (or as Pichai described, "polished it down"), Brillo was designed to present a minimal footprint while also guaranteeing broad silicon support and basic connectivity expectations (I.e. Bluetooth, WI-Fi, etc.). Device managers can use a centralized console for provisioning and ongoing management.

At the heart of Brillo is Weave, the communications layer, enabling sensors and devices to communicate over the cloud through a shared language. Weave also exposes developer APIs in a cross-platform manner, supporting actions such as voice-enabled ovens.

Any Android device should be able to recognize Brillo and Weave, meaning users can open up phones, set up the connected device, and that is it -- in theory.

Brillo goes into developer preview in the third quarter of 2015 with the Weave full stack scheduled to follow during the fourth quarter.

Gallery:Google I/O 2015: Google's smart home blueprint is still in the drafting stage

Google I/O 2015: Google's smart home blueprint is still in the drafting stage

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