After an amazing event, this blog gives you the lowdown on all things IoT at GDD Krakow 2017. Google Developer Days (GDD) Krakow was a global event showcasing the latest developer products and platforms from Google to help you quickly develop high-quality apps, grow and retain an active user base. Let’s see what it offered for Android Things enthusiasts.

Google Developer Days was a huge event with over 2000 attendees. The conference itself was made up of multiple sections. There were the demonstration stands and sandboxes, the conference rooms for the talks, hands on training code labs as well as office hours for one to one guidance and Q&A. Let’s see where all the IoT and Android Things fits in.

Android Things demonstration stand

The demonstration stand/sand box displayed projects created by Google, Google Developer Experts and Novoda. These examples showed the multiple ways Android Things can be leveraged to create smart IoT devices and systems. All the projects can be found at

These included:

  • A textual smart clock, comprising of an Android Things board pulling the time over WiFi and controlling an Arduino Nano via UART to control a strip of LEDs.

  • An MQTT climate control system, a temperature sensor and infra-red controller connected via a local WiFI network talking MQTT on an Android Things board. This could read the temperature data and feed it back to a Firebase real-time database which then showed the changes on a companion Android app. If the temperature reached a certain threshold the Android Things board would signal the infra-red LED to turn a theoretical air conditioning system on/off.

  • Piano hero game, which leverages the Android MIDI APIs as well as Android Things’ optional display capabilities to show a piano game where you press the keys corresponding to what is on the screen. It also uses PWM to play the notes via a Piezo buzzer.

  • The TensorFlow identity camera. Using a trained TensorFlow model, you press the button on top of the green Android and point it at a cat or dog (or picture of) and it will tell you the type and breed of the animal.

  • The drawing bot. Take a picture of your face and watch the Android Things bot draw you like one of its French robots. This uses PWM motor control to physically draw your image on a piece of paper. It is running on batteries and takes about 6 minutes per image with the batteries lasting about 2-4 hours.

At the IoT stand you could also pick up a TechNexion Android Things starter kit that comprised of some of the components shown in the demos, such as an NXP Pico board, LCD display, and a camera module.

There was also an area on the second floor where you could grab some old hardware components and string or glue them together into art/jewellery.

Android Things talks

Dave Smith talked about the IoT ecosystem at Google and all the possibilities that are out there. One very interesting graph in his session showed that while about 5 billion smartphones will be in use in 2020, by then there will already be 30 billion IoT devices.

What's up with Internet of Things and the Google Assistant?

Google has a wide range of new platforms and tools to support computing anywhere and everywhere. Learn how Android Things can be used to simplify the development and production of IoT devices. Hear how the Google Assistant enables users to have conversations with your Actions. See how Android phones, Android Wear, and Android Auto allow users to interact with your service anytime and anywhere. Study how TensorFlow can be used to make machine learning really easy in all kinds of IoT applications, beyond mobile.

Rebecca Franks talked about Android Things development and what is needed to get started. The Novoda Piano Hero game got a shout out on one of the slides. :-)

Android Things: The IoT Platform for Everyone

Android Things is Google’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform that is based on the Android operating system. In this video, Rebecca Franks covers the basics of getting started with the platform and how any developer without electronics experience can build IoT apps with Android Things. She presents a few use cases and examples, along with an overview of how you can use the existing Android libraries with your next IoT project.

Gus Class talked the audience through Google's IoT Core platform. This is meant for enterprise scale deployments where you want to manage input and control provisioning from 10,000+ simultaneous devices.

Google Cloud IoT Core Technical Deep Dive

Details of high-level features of the Google Cloud IoT Core product. Additionally, he explains how the underlying Google Cloud products that make up the Cloud Solution let you add IoT capabilities to your products at scale for both data ingress and analytics. An end-to-end demonstration of the product concludes the presentation.

Android Things Codelabs

Codelabs were available for learning and training. All training areas were up on the top floor, in a quieter area. There were also office hours with patient Googlers sitting and waiting to answer your questions. It was great having knowledgeable people giving great advice, help and insight.

All the Codelabs can be found here.

For Android Things, these are the highlights; Understanding Peripheral I/O, Creating a Weather Station, Classifying Images and deploying the Android Things assistant.

GDD Europe was a great event. As well as all of the awesome technology and organised learning, there were a lot of amazing people and friendly insightful conversations going on from just walking around and bumping into people.

And a final thank you for the awesome facilities!