Firefox looks to port mobile OS to IoT devices

Firefox looks to port mobile OS to IoT devices

Firefox looks to port its mobile OS to IoT devices
Firefox looks to port its mobile OS to IoT devices

Multiple IoT projects mooted by browser maker

Firefox is looking to rescue its Firefox OS for mobile devices as a platform for IoT technology.

The browser maker is said to be working on a number of projects that would have Firefox OS as the underlying platform for Internet of Things uses.

In a blog post, Mozilla showcased four areas where it thinks the OS would work well: Project Link, Project Sensor Web, Project Smart Home, and Vaani.

Project Link will act as a personal user agent that helps users interact with devices in the home and make automation in the home easier.

Project Sensor Web aims to create a network of sensors that enables users to access data about their surroundings and immediate environment, such as the real-time air quality of their neighbouring street, the current wait time at their favourite cafe, water quality from rivers close to the village.

Its Project Smart Home is described by Mozilla as a “middle ground between “in a box” solutions like Apple HomeKit and DIY solutions like Raspberry Pi”. It combines modular, affordable hardware with easy-to-use rules.

Lastly, Vaani is described as an IoT enabler package to developers, device makers and users who want to add a voice interface to their devices in a flexible and customisable way. It said it would prototype interactions at home in near term, and in future, showcase the ability to access services from the open web.

Ari Jaaksi, senior vice president of Connected Devices at Mozilla, said that the firm was “focused on a gated innovation process that includes time to brainstorm solutions to real life problems and evaluate the market opportunity for these ideas.”

“Additionally, we are aligning ourselves with users when it comes to simplicity, ease-of-use and engaging experiences, while ensuring everything is built with the Mozilla values of openness, transparency, privacy and user control at the core,” he added.

Also read: Mozilla switches focus to Internet of Things devices

IoT misses the ‘killer’ app

Mike Weston, CEO of data science consultancy Profusion, told Internet of Business that while the IoT industry is largely dominated by firms like Amazon, Nest, Samsung and Apple, some of the most innovative developments are coming from smaller firms like Pillow Talk from Little Riot, Lupo and Audiowings.

“Unfortunately, the IoT is still missing a ‘killer’ app that will really spur on uptake by mainstream consumers. The industry has a vast number of devices that have little to no use or value to the everyday consumer. From smart tape measures to a smart aquarium and even a pizza order button from Dominos. Devices that tackle one problem in a very limited way are not going to be game changers, especially given the relatively high costs involved,” he said.

“Moving IoT away from a well-hyped but ultimately peripheral tech trend will be crucial in the medium turn. A major step forward would be designing IoT devices with standardised technology that allow them to work together,” said Weston.

Anyone interested in being a developer or tester for Mozilla can register here.

Also read: Mozilla gives Firefox OS the boot to concentrate on Internet of Things