Google I/O Review: IoT as Integration or OS Platform?
Coming out of the Google I/O conference the other day was lots of news on IoT. A big part of one keynote time was spent on Project Brillo and Project Weave which combined represent a new direction on IoT from Google.
The bulk of the announcements break down into three main parts:
- Project Brillo. Built in lower level device recognition and integration capabilities for Android based devices. While we tend to think of these as smart phones Google did go to great lengths to talk about a future where many other devices or sensors would be Android enabled or integrated via the new projects
- Project Weave. A new script based language called Weave that can be used for device to device integration. Google calls it “phone to device to cloud” and claims both local and broad capabilities.
- Google wants to be the place for Consumer oriented IoT.
The overall IoT announcements are very interesting but time will tell on how much is delivered as the actual projects roll out in Q3 (Brillo) and Q4 (Weave). I also think that it is very good that Google is focusing on the Consumer oriented aspects of IoT where they can leverage the installed base of Android devices and Nest devices to deliver value on real world use cases. However, this is not even the first time Google has tried to deliver on the smart-home idea and in general IoT remains more buzz and talk than real world main stream solutions. Time will tell if Google can move the needle.
From a technology and enterprise point of view these announcements do not appear very applicable any time soon. First, I think most enterprises see IoT as an integration project and not something where a new OS or platform is required. Enterprises have a platform and they want to extend it – not replace it. Granted sometimes a replacement is needed but IoT looks more like an extension.
Second, most enterprises are not going to wary of something that looks like an Android device dependent platform even if with the add-on script language it provides some amount of integration capability. Enterprises are tending to be looking for more application-centric integration solutions when it comes to IoT where the device specific data/meta-data can be leveraged and not the other way around. Plus there are already many companies in the crowded enterprise market that Google will have to compete. Most likely the new Project Brillo will provide better access to Android based devices into an Enterprise IoT solution that is built around an integration solution framework and is application or business process centric so that companies can better automate and manage data across devices, platforms and applications.
* Photo credit to Google I/O Project Brillo presentation