Just last week Qualcomm was announcing a plan to get its chips into smart devices designed for the Internet of Things, and now Google is reportedly developing an operating system that they can run.
It is allegedly gearing up to release the new software under the Android brand, and that software will be aimed at ultra low-power devices with as little as 64 or 32MB of RAM. With so much smart home technology floating around, such as connected light bulbs and door locks, it's no wonder that Google wants a piece of the pie.
Qualcomm, Apple, and even Samsung have each begun to take moves that'll hopefully put them at the forefront of home automation, and so Google probably believes it also needs to strike while the iron is hot.
Here's everything we know so far about its upcoming OS and plan...
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things (IoT, for short) is a term for when everyday objects are connected to the internet and participating together on a system, though that's just the basic definition.
The goal is to have people seamlessly retrieve knowledge wherever they go and function on a daily basis without having to sit down at a computer or talk to another human. It's ubiquitous computing, but it goes beyond Google Glass and extends to your home, car, business, building, and any system in the world.
You can learn more about IoT here.
One of the complications arising with IoT is that there are several manufacturers suddently releasing smart devices that connect to the internet in order to send and receive data, but all of those devices still require a common language or software or platform for them to recognise and work with each other.
Apple is among the many tech giants in the industry currently attempting to solve that issue. It developed the HomeKit framework with the hopes of simplifying IoT and home automation. It's essentially a common language that smart devices from any manufacturer can understand and support.
You can learn more about HomeKit here.
What is Google Brillo?
Similar to how Apple is trying to simplify the current state of home automation (to its own benefit), Google is supposedly the next company that wants to tackle IoT. According to The Information, Google has developed an operating system called Brillo that can run on low-powered devices.
Brillo will provide those devices (they'll have like 64MB or 32MB of RAM) with the bare-bones ability to communicate with other connected devices nearby. The idea is that the software might one day be used on everything from home appliances (like refrigerators) to even smaller ones (like camera monitors).
Keep in mind Brillo is just an internal name at Google right now, and that it might debut under a different name. The software is reportedly being developed by a group linked to the Android team.
When will Google Brillo launch?
The Information claimed Brillo might unveil under a new Android name next week, when Google kicks off its annual Google I/O developer conference. It's not yet clear if or when the software will launch for consumers.
Is Nest involved with Brillo at all?
Like many of the other details surrounding Brillo, it's unclear if Nest is involved. That said, The Information included a picture of Tony Fadell, who founded Nest and now works at Google, with its article about Brillo.
Google acquired Nest Labs - the makers of Nest - in 2014. And then it announced a developer program (called "Works with Nest") that provides a set of APIs. Manufacturers can include them in their smart devices to let you link, remote control, and integrate those devices with Nest and other Google products.
The thing is - if you look at the Nest developer homepage - you won't hear anything about Google or Android. Google is keeping the Nest brand separate, letting Nest spearhead home automation for the company.
What else might debut at Google I/O?
You can read all about what Google might have in store for Google I/O here.