Qualcomm to collaborate with Google on Android Things

Android (Pixabay)
Google says Android Things offers developers a comprehensive way to build IoT products with the Android OS.

Google just unveiled Android Things, an update to its Internet of Things (IoT) development platform, and it’s already got the support of Qualcomm Technologies, which intends to collaborate with Google to add support for the Android Things operating system in Qualcomm Snapdragon processors.

Google announced Android Things for developers in a blog post yesterday, describing it as a comprehensive way to build IoT products with the Android OS. Google also incorporated feedback from Project Brillo to include familiar tools for developers, and it promises to provide updates in coming months as well as built-in Weave connectivity.

Qualcomm, which has backed its own previous flavors of IoT, sees the initiative as an opportunity to help a vast number of developers participate in the IoT. “The design of IoT devices can be a complex task, usually requiring developers to bring together multiple connectivity technologies, sensors, data processing and storage, advanced multimedia and user interfaces, security, cloud integration, device management, as well as over-the-air upgrades and services,” the company said in a press release, acknowledging that development can be particularly tricky due to the fragmentation in IoT.

Qualcomm anticipates Android Things running on Snapdragon processors will offer developers familiar connectivity environments, including cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth; support for a wide array of sensors; camera, graphics, multimedia and rich UI capabilities; hardware-based security; Google services and cloud integration; test and optimization tools, and more – allowing for rapid development of scalable, cost-effective and security-focused IoT solutions.

“Since the launch of the first Android phone, Qualcomm Technologies and Google have closely collaborated to create exciting new opportunities for developers in mobile, wearables and the IoT,” said Jeffery Torrance, vice president, business development, Qualcomm Technologies, in the release. “We are pleased to announce our intent to work with Google on this new initiative to expand the Android ecosystem. We anticipate many new and exciting IoT products will result as developers are able to bring the power of the Snapdragon processor together with Android Things.”

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Asked how Qualcomm’s participation with Google jibes with its work with the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), a Qualcomm spokesperson described the company’s involvement as a natural step in its overall IoT strategy.

Qualcomm is a diamond member in the OCF and serves on its board of directors. “We remain committed to OCF and the importance in driving interoperability across brands and ecosystems for proximal, peer-to-peer connectivity and secure remote access and cloud services,” the spokesperson said in a statement to FierceWirelessTech.

“The OCF spec and reference implementation, IoTivity, is OS, platform and brand-agnostic and allows devices to discover and interact with nearby products regardless of their underlying communications protocols. And since Android Things is an OS, it dovetails neatly with IoTivity, which sits above the OS layer,” the statement said.

In order to support interoperability across brands and ecosystems via Qualcomm Technologies’ chipsets, “we continue to embrace and support various aspects of the expanding IoT ecosystem. We are currently working with a wide range of frameworks and communication protocols for the IoT, including OCF and others like Weave, Thread, and HomeKit.”