Google Nabs Ex-Microsoft Engineers For Android Hardware Team

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Google is moving from software to hardware with the hiring of smartphone innovators to head up a dedicated hardware unit called Android Hardware.The new division will explore hardware devices outside of just smartphones, including everything from robotics to home automation.

Matt Hershenson and Joe Britt are the engineers behind the Hiptop (a.k.a. Sidekick) slide-out QWERTY keyboard phone from the last decade, and Google has picked them up to spearhead new developments into accessories and peripherals.

The two are former workmates of Andrew Rubin who is the current VP of Mobile at Google and co-creator of Android. Before that, he was a co-founder of Danger, Inc., a specialist mobile computing company that was bought out by Microsft in 2008.

Hershenson and Britt are the latest former Danger employees to be brought onto Google, with computer interface designer Matias Duarte of the same company being brought in earlier to work on Android’s ‘user experience.’

Brit told CNNMoney that there were no immediate plans to build Google-branded Android hardware accessories. For now, the team works on experimentation, prototypes and making reference designs for Android peripherals.

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