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Android beyond the smartphone

Android is a flexible open source operating system that is suitable for many applications beyond the smart phone. Over the past 12 months I have been involved in several projects that embedded Android inside various devices. In one case, it was used in a portable medical device to monitor blood sugar levels; in another it was controlling a point-of-sale system, and in a third it formed the basis of a head-up display unit for a motorcycle helmet. In addition to these, I have seen reports of Android being used in marine navigation systems, in vehicle instrument clusters and more. I think I can say with confidence that “embedded Android has arrived”.
In this talk, I will share with you my experience in creating customized Android devices. Starting with the basic code base, the Android Open Source Project, or AOSP, I will describe the steps you need to take to build your own version, and how you can interface with external hardware through USB, i2c, serial (RS232) and other common interfaces. I will finish up by considering what you have to do to create a locked-down, single-purpose device using so-called kiosk mode. There will be time for questions at the end of the talk.
All of these topics are based on my own experiences, and are embodied in the training materials I have put together in my embedded Android and Linux classes.
Chris Simmonds has a wealth of experience in customising Android for embedded systems. He has been running training courses and workshops in Android since 2010 and has trained teams at many well-known organisations in the UK, Europe, USA, South America and SE Asia. He is the author of the book “Mastering Embedded Linux Programming”, and is a frequent presenter at open source and embedded conferences, including Embedded Linux Conference and Embedded World. You can see some of his work on the "Inner Penguin" blog at

Chris will be joining us live via the Web from the UK. 

HPE is generously hosting and will be providing a snack and beverages!

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  • Andrew G.

    Thank you for the great event and sharing slides.

    Does anyone know how oems deal with embedded Android? Do they do all the software themselves or there is some support from Google for them?

    September 16

    • Chris S.

      Andrew, you raise an interesting point that I should have mentioned in my talk. 96boards ( have developed a spec for ARM 64-bit boards. One such is from Hikey. I just discovered that, Linaro, sponsored by ARM, have added support for the Hikey board to AOSP (­ce), which is fantastic news for embedded Android projects.

      September 18

    • Andrew G.

      They actually have more than just HiKey boards. There are already several boards that are easy to use for building prototypes and some of them are pretty powerful (like Bubblegum-96 with S900 chip). All of those boards as I see have support of Android by default and all designs are open sourced.

      September 18

  • Iqbal M.

    Very informative event, and great venue/organization!

    September 15

  • Kevin D.

    This was a very nice meetup! Chris gave an awesome talk and HPE provided a great space plus food and beverages.

    September 15

  • Jay

    Would there be slides or any other material posted for folks who could not attend?

    1 · September 14

  • Jeff N

    Kevin, we just wait in the lobby for an escort?

    September 14

  • Peter

    Is there a way to view the join the meeting remotely?

    September 14

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