Recently, the company announced the release of Android Things, an operating system specifically designed for internet objects.
One of the main limitations internet objects have is memory and computing power, so the new OS is designed to operate with an extremely small footprint, no more than 32 to 64 MB.
Some time ago, Google announced an IoT OS concept called Brillo. Android Things appears to be based on the earlier Brillo design, but melded with key features lifted from Android, making the two compatible.
This is significant for two reasons. First, from a development standpoint, the fact that Android Things is fundamentally similar to the widely used Android OS and uses Android Tools and other development resources makes it much easier for developers to create apps and extensions for IoT devices, using tools they are already familiar with.
Second, Android already has fairly robust security, so the hope is that by creating an OS specifically designed for these devices, we can at long last begin addressing the huge and growing security concerns surrounding “smart” devices, which, to this point, have had virtually nothing in the way of security.
It remains to be seen how rapidly the new OS will be adopted, but Google is already working with various vendors to create standards, and given how ubiquitous the Android OS is, it’s logical to assume that adoption would be swift.
The first manufacturers to incorporate the new OS will have a powerful strategic advantage over their rivals, which should create momentum for more widespread adoption.
Given the size of IoT botnets, and the massive DDOS attacks they have been responsible for in recent months, this is welcome news indeed.