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Was the Android OS originally built for digital cameras?

It turns out, when the Android operating system was very young, it secretly wanted to grow up to power digital cameras.

According to PC World, Google's wildly popular mobile OS was initially meant for PC-connected "smart cameras," but took a different route when the smartphone market began to boom.

"The exact same platform, the exact same operating system we built for cameras, that became Android for cell phones," former Android chief Andy Rubin said at the Japan New Economy Summit in Tokyo.

An original pitch to investors in 2004 from Android Inc. included notions of a camera connected to home computers (wired or wireless), which then linked to an Android cloud service. But as digital camera technology waned and mobile handsets took over, the company revamped its plans, and turned the operating system into an "open-source handset solution," PC World said.

At a time when hardware costs were decreasing, companies continued to charge the same licensing fees for software, and since Rubin considered Android to be a platform for selling other services, the executive focused the company's efforts on growth, rather than per-unit income.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Google acquired Android Inc. in 2005. Rubin was at the helm of the search giant's mobile efforts until last month, when Google combined its Android and Chrome teams, and handed over control to Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome.

Android did eventually make its way to a camera via the Samsung Galaxy Camera (pictured, top), as well as similar offerings from Nikon and Polaroid.