In many respects, mobile phones and computing devices are to embedded systems what suburban utility vehicles (SUVs) are to trucks and other dedicated, specialized vehicles. SUVs were originally built with truck components, in truck factories and according to truck design rules, presenting enormous opportunities for automotive engineers and companies in a new market.
And as the SUV market has evolved and matured, features added to satisfy particular needs in that market have inspired auto companies and engineers to turn around and incorporate those features into trucks and other dedicated vehicles.
The same dynamic is at work between the embedded and mobile device markets, especially as it relates to the open source Android platform. Mobile devices originally drew on development tools,, operating systems, building blocks and embedded programming expertise used in similarly resource constrained embedded designs. Now those have been complemented or superseded by mobile-optimized methods which developers are now looking at to enhance their embedded designs.
The most up-to-date information about both types of opportunities will be at the upcoming ESC DesignWest in San Jose, Ca., March 26-29. As a part of the Android Summit , there are two design tracks including one on “Applying Android to em bedded design s” . In addition, there’s a track devoted to: Linux, Android and open source . Also, there is a special set of classes where you can earn a certificate in Android development.
My Editor’s Top Picks from recently published Embedded.com articles on Android include: Understanding Android’s strengths and weaknesses ; Android, Linux and Real-Time development ; and Differentiating your Android-based embedded device. Several recent technical papers relevant to the use of Android in embedded apps are available for download:
A cooperative embedded system framework based on Android (PDF)
Designing an industrial app based on the Android mobile OS (PDF)
Evaluating Android OS for Embedded Real Time Systems (PDF)
Reliable Real-Time Applications on Android OS (PDF)
Other online resources for Android developers include the Google+ Android Community and Android Developers ; the LinkedIn Android Developer Group and Google Android; and the Facebook Android Developers group. Two helpful Web communities are: Android Open Source Project and AOpenSource.com. Keep in touch with me about your embedded Android projects, especially if you would like to share what you have learned with the developer community on Embedded.com.