The Internet of Things (IoT) has become an unequivocal asset to countless industries worldwide, and major technology conglomerates are taking notice. Now, top carriers are implementing new and innovative services aimed specifically at the integration of advanced connected technologies — one of them being Android Things, an Android-based embedded operating system (OS) developed by Google. The managed OS has risen to the forefront of current IoT technology, establishing itself as a household name in its specific market.
What is Android Things, and how is it used?
Initially announced at Google I/O in 2015, Android Things enables users to “build and maintain IoT devices at scale,” and this has opened a variety of possibilities across consumer, retail, and industrial settings. The system offers a simplified and rapid prototype-to-product process in which users build devices with a certified System on Modules (SoMs), test these devices, and bring them to fruition in a relatively short amount of time. This approach is complemented by security and scalability provided via regular system updates, accessible system images, and fixes aimed at the consistent production of compelling and efficient products.
Naturally, this pallet of opportunity has opened new doors for mass market products — especially when paired with a long list of supported platforms. In its infancy, however, Things came with its share of growing pains as it began to see regular corporate use. Recent updates have helped to eliminate many of these pain points. The release of Android Things 1.0 reflected a product ready for the “prime time,” with Google finally ensuring long-term support by means of patches security updates.
What does the future look like?
The latter notions in mind, Android Things does indeed appear ready for the “prime time;” its most glaring flaws have been sharpened and reinforced through Google’s promise of long term oversight. Furthermore, Google has fortified the service’s security to mitigate threats like advanced malware breaches, easing many enduring fears associated with IoT devices in general.
These changes, paired with the service’s continued compatibility across popular prototyping platforms like Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and NXP i.MX7D, all but guarantees a bright future for a promising IoT offering from an already accomplished name in the technology community.