In December last year, Mozilla announced that it would stop developing and selling Firefox OS based smartphones, and instead focus on connected devices, or the Internet of Things. This week the company has announced its first round of projects to develop and Internet of Things ecosystem.
For these projects, Mozilla mentions that it will roll out a full participation program in the next few months. The company will also initiate a volunteer-driven innovation fund as an experiment for the next three months, to fund small projects that experiment and prototype ideas in the connected devices space.
The first four projects the company has introduced are:
– Project Link a personal agent that will understand user preferences on how they interact with devices in their homes and automate it. A user will have full control of what it can access and do.
– Project Smart Home, according to the company, is a middle ground between “in a box” solutions like Apple Homekit and DIY solutions like Raspberry Pi. The project is aimed to run on modular and cheap hardware, possibly like the Raspberry Pi 3 (drools).
– Project Sensor Web is a collaborative effort to set up sensors to collect data from the environment to process the data and publish insights. The company cites examples like a pilot project to build a crowdsource PM2.5 air pollution sensor network.
– Project Vaani is a voice interface designed to interact with connected devices. The project plans to offer an “IoT enabler package” to developers, device makers, and end users who want to add a voice interface to their devices.
MediaNama’s take: It is great to see Firefox repurpose its OS for IoT. While the company may not have made much of an impact in the smartphone market, IoT is still in its nascent stages, and it could benefit from an known open source community dedicating its resources towards developing it. If Mozilla can get some traction for its platform, it will help the future of IoT to be defined by open standards and an open platform, making it a great space for innovation to thrive in.