Google has targeted the Internet of Things to differentiate its cloud from rivals Amazon and Microsoft. The company said that the service would cost only a fraction of a cent per megabyte. But these fragments could add up with billions of embedded devices that companies may have to disconnect and reconnect, monitor and manage, and patch for several years.
Google recently acquired Xively, which helps companies connect devices to an Internet of Things network and manage them remotely, for $50 million. The company expects to add around 45 employees from Xively, which earned $3 million last year from customers like smart home supplier Lutron and smoke alarm maker Halo, while logging $13 million of expenses.
The service supports Google’s Android Things embedded operating system, which can be used inside microcontrollers and other low power processors.
The company has also partnered with Intel, Cisco, NXP and other companies to make more hardware compatible with a service for “globally distributed devices,” said Indranil Chakraborty, product manager for IoT Core.
“Previously, we needed to individually set up each sensor,” said John Heard, chief technology officer of Smart Parking, which uses IoT Core to install sensors that monitor parking spaces in cities, in a statement. “Now we allocate manufactured batches of devices into IoT Core for site deployments and then, using a simple activation smartphone app, the onsite installation technician can activate the sensor or device in moments.”