Google Scrubs Its Way Into IoT OS Market With Android-Based ‘Brillo’

One of the hottest segments in technology is the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), sort of an umbrella term to describe the wealth of Internet-connected gadgets. It's an emerging category that's growing ferociously as manufacturers build smart functionality into everyday devices, like coffee makers and even light bulbs. Companies big and small are scrambling to be pioneers in the IoT market, and that includes Google, which wants to be a major force in the new world.

To be that force, Google is reportedly working on an IoT platform called Brillo. It's said that Brillo could run on low-powered devices with as little as 64MB or 32MB of RAM. For the sake of comparison, you typically find Google's Android platform running on mobile devices with at least 512MB of RAM. Brillo's requirements are much smaller because the devices that make up the IoT world aren't necessarily as complex as a smartphone or tablet.


According to The Information and the people it spoke with who claim to have been briefed about the project, Brillo is likely to release under the Android brand. In fact, the group that's currently developing Brillo is part of Android, so there already exists a bit of synergy.

This isn't brand new territory for Google, which has at least a foot in the IoT door. Back in February of last year, Google acquired Nest for $3.2 billion. Google's been looking at ways to leverage its acquisition, such as expanding into the audio market with Nest, and developing Brillo could open up the door to some interesting possibilities.

Time will tell, though Google isn't the only one sizing up the IoT market with a new platform. Chinese telecom Huawei this week announced a new operating system called LiteOS, which it describes as the world's most lightweight OS for IoT devices with a footprint of just 10KB.