And now the company is “refocusing” the technology. Basically, it’s orienting towards Android Things being a platform for OEM partners to build devices (such as smart speakers and smart displays), more than a variety of development boards aimed at individual developers.
Support for System on Modules – based on NXP, Qualcomm, and MediaTek hardware – will no longer be available through Google’s public developer channel, it says.
Certified Android Things System-on-Modules (SoMs) had previously comprised: the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, NXP i.MX7D, NXP i.MX8M, Qualcomm SDA212, Qualcomm SDA624, and MediaTek MT8516 hardware platforms.
Now, however, only the NXP i.MX7D and Raspberry Pi 3B survive the cut.
(Support for Intel Edison and Joule hardware designs had been discontinued back in 2017.)
Dave Smith, Developer Advocate for IoT, writes:
Given the successes we have seen with our partners in smart speakers and smart displays, we are refocusing Android Things as a platform for OEM partners to build devices in those categories moving forward.
Android Things continues to be a platform for experimenting with and building smart, connected devices using the Android Things SDK on top of popular hardware like the NXP i.MX7D and Raspberry Pi 3B. System images for these boards will remain available through the Android Things console where developers can create new builds and push app updates for up to 100 devices for non-commercial use.
Google Assistant and AI
What exactly is Android Things? To summarise, it is an Android-based platform intended to provide quicker (and Google-friendly) routes to develop embedded things, be they smart locks, sensor control systems of different communication devices.
It’s also a way to get Google-powered AI (via Google Assistant) quickly embedded into various forms of hardware.
It’s been in a Developer Preview mode before a full release, so it is generally below the radar, until version 1.0 emerged in May 2018….It did find its way, though, onto the floors of CES 2018, in the shape of smart speakers, via OEM partners such as LG, Qualcomm and Rockchip.
See also: Build your own Drawbot powered by Things
See also: Things assisting with AI at CES 2018 – Electronics Weekly