Google’s got some ambitious hardware plans in its future, revealing both the Android Open Accessory standard and the Android @ Home networking framework at Google I/O yesterday. Those avenues represent some very different directions from the software side of Android that Google’s been largely keeping itself to; who does Google think is up to the task? We usually don’t concern ourselves too much when it comes to internal employee placement decisions, but this time there’s reason to take notice. Google has revealed that it’s bringing the old Danger team back together, reuniting with Andy Rubin to help with these new hardware projects.
Matt Hershenson and Joe Britt, along with Google’s Andy Rubin, used to all work at Danger, developer of the Hiptop which later became the first T-Mobile Sidekick. Back when smartphones were cumbersome PDAs with a phone tacked-on, the Sidekick showed some early progress towards a device with smartphone-like capabilities that was easily accessible to the general public. Rubin later left to work on Android, and Britt and Hershenson rode the Danger wave as it took them to Microsoft. Not feeling the Microsoft love after their experiences with the Kin, the two jumped ship and now look set to get back in the phone game with one of the biggest outfits in town.
Google hasn’t announced any plans for these hardware guys to actually release any products under Google’s name so far, but the direction they give to third parties will help determine the success or failure of Android Open Accessory and Android @ Home. Knowing these guys, we’re inclined to lean towards the former outcome.