Google’s Project Brillo Signals End of Web & Beginning of Apps Everywhere
With Google's announcement of Brillo and Weave, marketers need to think more seriously about apps as a way to reach consumers, says columnist Daniel Cristo.
The Internet of Things took a giant leap forward this year with Google’s announcement of two powerful new technologies at its I/O conference, the company’s annual developer-focused gathering, in late May.
What do these two technologies mean for marketers? Not only will these two innovations help bring intelligence to millions of devices, but they could very well signal the end of usefulness for your website, and the beginning of a device-specific app ecosystem.
Google’s Sundar Pichai took the stage at the annual developers’ conference to unveil Project Brillo, which he described as the underlying operating system of the Internet of Things.
The Brillo operating system is a streamlined version of the Android mobile operating system designed for Internet-connected devices such as appliances, farm equipment and vending machines.
Just as Android brought computing power and Internet connectivity to phones and watches, Brillo will do the same for millions of everyday objects.
This provides developers with a standard set of tools and APIs (application programming interfaces) to work with, and opens the door for app distribution through Google’s app marketplace.
Along with Brillo, Pichai announced Project Weave, a common language for devices to communicate with each other.
For example, if your smart shower head recognizes you’re almost through with your shower, it may tell the coffee pot to begin brewing a cup of coffee.
After your coffee maker detects you’ve got your coffee in hand, it may instruct your car to warm up and drive to the front door to pick you up.
Consumers’ use of these two technologies could have a direct impact on search, brands and the future of marketing.
Using Brillo and Weave, your previously dumb appliances can now tap into Android’s voice-recognition capabilities. This means you can ask your stove questions such as, “How do I season a cast iron pan?” and your stove can use the Internet to track down an answer for you.
Searches like this used to happen on a computer where Google would return a set of webpages for you to find your answer. Now that the Knowledge Graph has evolved, users are often presented full answers without a need to actually visit the website that answered their question.
At least in today’s world, searchers can still bypass the Knowledge Graph and click on a traditional webpage from Google’s results. However, if smart devices rely solely on the Knowledge Graph for an answer, website owners could see a significant decrease in website traffic as the option to visit a webpage won’t exist on a stove.
Apps For Devices
Even though your smartphone has a browser, what makes your mobile device indispensable is the apps. I believe the same will hold true for the Internet of Things.
The day will come when your refrigerator will download apps to enhance its functionality and capabilities. With Brillo, Google is making a move for those apps to be Android-based and solely available through the Google Play Store.
This creates a new opportunity for brands to create apps for millions of different devices. Brands like P&G will undoubtedly be interested in creating apps for washing machines and dishwashers, while cosmetics brands will build apps for mirrors and bathroom lighting.
The New Frontier
The Internet of Things will have a profound impact on marketing and SEO as users begin to access the Internet through a variety of devices, bypassing the traditional webpage. While this change of behavior might lead to a drop in website traffic, there will be new ways for brands to reach consumers through device-specific apps.
That day isn’t here yet, but with the announcement of Brillo and Weave, we can now see the fundamental infrastructure being built, and it looks like it’s going to be based on the Android ecosystem.
For those brands that are still slow to make an app because they don’t think they need one, now is your window of opportunity to catch up. The longer you resist the world of apps and cling to the traditional webpage alone, the bigger the gap will be between you and the consumer.