Hardly a day goes by without the arrival of a new Android phone commercial or rumors emerging about Googles next innovation. Android is here, you know it. It is attracting the best application developers, assembling the largest collection of ODMs, recruiting leading software and semiconductor vendors (aka the Open Handset Alliance and Open Embedded Software Foundation), and thus becoming “the buzz” everywhere.
Google’s Android operating system may have been created for phones and refined for tablets, but the OS is certainly set to move beyond the bounds of mobile devices. Recently we have witnessed Google announcing a new class of Android devices for the home at its annual I/O developer’s conference. With this move, Google presented its next strategic direction for the Android OS: “taking over our homes”. The Android@Home project is all about extending the Android OS to discover, connect, and communicate with devices in the home. Google signals the whole ecosystem of hardware makers, software developers, designers, content providers etc. where future business opportunities are emerging.
Android is already invading e-readers, media players, netbooks, GPS systems, Internet tablets, digital photo frames, VoIP phones, set-top boxes and more. It may seem as a small portion of the market, but front runners are setting the path for Android advancing in segments such as point of service, industrial controls/automation, automotive infotainment, utility monitoring, home automation/security and more beyond.
While developing new devices we must be aware that massiveness and complexity of the embedded software is rapidly progressing, rising the development cost accordingly. It is said that more than 60% of the average embedded system development cost is on the software development account. Traditionally, equipment makers developed embedded software on their own; however, in order to reduce development period and development costs, nowadays it is necessary to effectively use standard components such as standard OS and package software.
Under the veil of cutting costs, most of the manufacturers concentrate on implementing faster instead on differentiating better. Do you really want to make a product that follows other similar successful products into a market rather than setting a trend? Are the me-too products good enough for you?
New concepts that will speed time-to-market and cut costs for development are becoming extremely popular in the software development world. I like to call it reduced cost-to-market strategy. Applied in the Android field of interest, where Android is the platform for the system, this approach promotes standardization of common framework and platform for various devices and systems other than cellular phones and fast launch on the market.
All parties in the Android ecosystem need to join forces to focus and work together on co-development of common frameworks and platform for various devices beyond cellular phones to expand Android as the platform of embedded systems. By doing so, each player empowers themselves with the leverage on the market with the good starting point in the platform that will turn into successful products on the market. A nice starting point is to set the basis and work on optimization and standardization of the core platform, which will definitely lead to development of products and applications that will differentiate brands on the market.
For this very reason, here at Seavus we pride ourselves to contribute to the open source community and be among the front runners in the Android development. On the other hand we always strive to differentiate by creating the ultimate customer experience. These two facts are our stepping stone for the next adventure path-lining our strategic goal of embedding Android platform into more mature technologies and systems. Seavus has joined OESF and strategically invests in spreading the Android soul in Europe.
Android will soon run through the veins of each home appliance and personal gadget. The same familiar home-screen will await you on your refrigerator, while taking the first morning cup of coffee, chatting with your friends or reading the latest tweets. To envisions change, to be the first to provide new soul to home appliances of the future you need your full and undivided focus on the product. Together we can make it happen.