Mozilla revealed yesterday four Internet of Things (IoT) projects that it plans to concentrate on after stopping any further development of Firefox OS for smartphones.
Firefox OS for smartphone was an ambitious project for Mozilla, considering that it had to compete in an area where heavyweights such as Google, Apple and Microsoft dominate the field.
Even though Mozilla managed to get some telecom partners onboard, it was too little too late, and this resulted in the decision to stop Firefox OS for smartphones and concentrate instead on IoT.
Mozilla will compete with powerful companies such as Google, Amazon, IBM, Cisco or Microsoft, but the main advantage here is that these companies have not saturated the market yet.
Mozilla will concentrate initially on four Internet of Things projects. These projects have a clear focus on user rights and privacy, something that the majority of companies in the field don't seem to focus on for the most part.
A personal user agent that is under the full control of the user. Basically, it helps you interact with your connected devices and may automate certain tasks for you.
Project Link aims to be your own, personal user agent for the smart home, creating a web of things that is completely yours. Instead of entrusting your data to a third party, your Link agent understands your preferences for how you want to interact with the world of devices in your home, and can even automate your connected world for you. All of this still done conveniently and securely, but completely under your control.
Launched as a pilot project to crowdsource the PM2.5 air pollution sensor network. Basically, it attempts to make certain kinds of local data such as the water or air quality, or the wait time in a favorite restaurant, available openly.
SensorWeb wants to advance Mozilla’s mission to promote the open web when it evolves to the physical world. It aims to find the easiest path from sensors to open data so contributors can collaboratively use sensors to get great detail of understanding their living environment.
The main idea of Smart Home is to go beyond "in a box" solutions, and to improve the accessibility of "do it yourself" solutions. Basically, something that sits in between, affordable hardware that is easy to set up and adjust according to personal needs.
Project Smart Home offers a middle ground between "in a box" solutions like Apple Homekit and DIY solutions like Raspberry Pi. Combining modular, affordable hardware with easy-to-use rules, Smart Home empowers people to solve unique everyday problems in new and creative ways.
Mozilla wants to create an open voice interface that developers, device makers and end users can utilize.
Vaani aims to bring a voice to the Internet of Things (IoT) using open, Mozilla-backed technologies. We believe a voice interface is the most natural way to interact with connected devices, but currently, there are no open solutions available at scale. With Vaani, we plan to offer an "IoT enabler package" to developers, device makers, and end users who want to add a voice interface to their devices in a flexible and customizable way, while avoiding the need to “lock-in” with one of the major commercial players.
What's your take on these projects? Good, bad, waste of money and resources?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.