The embedded business unit of VIA Technologies in Taiwan – which has a big office in Silicon Valley, as well – has done a worldwide survey of end-user customers to get a sense of where they’re at with using Android.
Some 93% of the roughly 250 respondents indicated they are either currently using or are considering using Android for an embedded project in the near future.
The top three applications being considered are industrial automation, infotainment (presumably mass transport screens) and digital signage
The survey suggests the top three benefits of going with the Android OS are touch screen support, reduced time to market, and customizability
Meanwhile, the top three perceived challenges are lack of Input/Output support, lack of internal expertise, and lack of development tools.
“The results from the survey tie closely to our own experiences as a pioneering Embedded Android solution provider and give objective confirmation of the increasing industry-wide interest and adoption,” says Richard Brown, VP of International Marketing, VIA Technologies Inc. “The results also provide invaluable information on how we can further enhance our services and offerings to the market.”
I know VIA from doing some work with the Taipei-based company. They’re already in these markets and have a very nice set of genuinely commercial-grade Android players. The growing sense, based on canvassing a lot of the Android vendor base, is that while the industry and end-users had a couple of “Squirrel!” moments when SoC displays and Chromeboxes came along, there’s renewed interest and confidence as the OS matures and reliable hardware manufacturers have been identified.
I’m putting together a substantial report on Android and have already heard from more than 15 companies. If you have a point of view, please send me a note, as your ideas and opinions are welcomed.