The blogosphere has been very quiet on the featuring of Android-powered embedded devices at Embedded World 2016 so far. To be candid, I was one of the most skeptical, having endured years of convincing system integrators not to attempt to crowbar the latest retail technology into embedded systems purely as it is fashionable, or indeed, cheaper. But I’ve had to ask myself this particular question again with reference to the Windows 10 IoT licensing structure, and I’ve encountered innumerable examples of embedded developers asking the same question.
Linux suffers (and still does, though to a much lesser degree) from a lack of familiarity and comfort from historical Microsoft OS stalwarts. However, now that Android is everywhere, that familiarity exists and embedded developers are asking “Why can’t I use it in my embedded system?” With Android simplistically a fancy front end for Linux, migration isn’t as simple as most would like. Integrating third-party peripherals will require manual driver porting, though with Android x86 ports opening new doors in embedded, I expect to see a wave of interest at Embedded World 2016.