Google Inc. (GOOG)???s Android software, the most widely used smartphone operating system, is making the leap to rice cookers and refrigerators as manufacturers vie to dominate the market for gadgets controlled via the Internet.
Android-based products ranging from Royal Philips Electronics NV???s PicoPix pocket projector and LG Electronics Inc. (066570)??? Smart Thinq refrigerators to Parrot SA (PARRO)???s Asteroid car stereo systems and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930)???s Galaxy Camera will be on display this week at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Extending its free operating system to new devices could let Google collect more data to build its lucrative search business and one-up software rivals Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Apple Inc. Android also is an easy to-use-platform that helps appliance makers like Samsung and Philips add product features and benefit from demand for Internet-connected devices — a market IDC predicts will reach more than $2 trillion in 2015.