5 Ways Google's Brillo OS Will Transform Home Automation

Brillo In The Home

Google on Thursday unveiled Brillo, its new operating system that will give smart capabilities to devices in consumers' houses.

The announcement, made at the Google I/O developer's conference, pushes Google further into the Internet of Things market.

In 2014, the company first dipped into the home automation market by acquiring Nest, a home automation company that designs and manufactures Wi-Fi-enabled, programmable home features like thermostats and smoke detectors.

In addition to Brillo, Google released other mobility-related news Thursday, like upgrades to its intelligent personal assistant, Google Now, and its Photos app. Google also introduced its newest OS, Android M, which will succeed Android Lollipop.

Following are five features of Brillo.

5. It Enables Devices To Talk To Each Other, And To Your Phone

Brillo promotes connectivity for various home devices, so that the devices will be able to communicate through a common language.

According to Google Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai (pictured), the operating system is a stripped-down low-power version of Android's mobile operating system.

The software also ensures that devices will be connected to the user's phone, so that users can control products like thermostats, stoves and refrigerators.

4. It Includes Weave, To Smooth Communications

As part of Brillo, Google introduced Weave, Brillo's common standards communications layer that defines certain devices.

Weave uses a common language that enables the platform's sensors and devices to communicate in a streamlined process through the cloud. This solves the problem of fragmentation in home automation, as connected devices may communicate in several ways and use differing software.

3. It's Coming Soon

According to Pichai, Google has been partnering with Google's Nest, Android's mobile unit and the Chrome Web browser business to develop the platform.

Brillo's developer preview will be ready in the third quarter, and the operating system will be released in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, the full-stack feature of Weave will come out in the fourth quarter of this year. According to Google, Weave is cross-platform and will be able to be used across other Internet of Things operating systems.

2. It Won't Devour Power

Brillo, which manages and stores data collected in device sensors, is meant to run on connected devices with low memory and small processors.

According to Google, in addition to Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth low energy, Brillo uses minimum system requirements.

This emphasis on low power ensures that smaller home appliances and devices, like door locks, can connect into the system. According to The Verge, the software is reportedly designed for devices that have as little as 32 MBs of RAM.

1. It Joins Other Players In The IoT Space

Google's Brillo is the latest development in the competitive Internet of Things space.

Last week, Huawei announced LiteOS, a lightweight operating system for the Internet of Things that includes an IoT gateway and controller.

Also this month, Samsung trumpeted its Artik chipsets, which are chips intended for connected devices like wearables and connected home appliances, in addition to its Tizen Internet of Things operating system.