Google wants to be everywhere in your home, not just hiding inside your thermostats and smoke alarms. That’s why, as rumored, it’s just announced Project Brillo, a super-slim operating system that’s designed specifically for devices collectively known as the Internet of Things. If you’re feeling a sense of deja vu, don’t — the company has already dipped a toe or two into this market before, with 2011’s quietly abandoned Android@Home project. As expected, Project Brillo is based on Android, but pared down enough to operate on a wide variety of day-to-day (and traditionally dumb) objects — doorbells, baby cameras, ovens and so on that speak to each other via Bluetooth and WiFi.
If you were hoping for juicy, consumer-friendly details about what Project Brillo means for you, then sadly we didn’t get much — this is a developer conference after all. Google Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai spent most of the allotted stage time discussing Weave — the way these connected devices will communicate. Weave will allow your smart objects to define events such as unlocking or locking a door and letting other devices understand what that event should mean (Door locked? Turn off the oven, etc.). There was one blessing for us regular folks though: Brillo includes tools for understanding voice commands. “Make me some coffee” could be all you need to do to get a cup of joe, soon(ish). How soon? Well, the developer tools for Project Brillo won’t be available until Q3 this year. Weave (for you developer types) will follow a month or two later.