CES 2014: Panasonic To Develop Firefox OS Smart TVs

Mozilla says that a new partnership with Panasonic to develop Firefox OS for the next generation of Smart TVs will kick-start the use of the HTML5-based software in a variety of different devices.

The Japanese manufacture will create and promote Smart TVs running the OS, which it says will provide the flexibility for developers to create new applications using content from the Internet.

Firefox OS Smart TVs

Basic functions such as menu and programme guides, currently written as embedded software, will be re-created in HTML5, allowing developers to make smartphone and tablet applications capable of remotely accessing and operating TVs. Personalised interfaces and WebAPIs could also allow users to control and monitor other smart devices around the house.

Mozilla says it expects the number of Firefox OS developers to triple during 2014, and wants the principles of openness to be applied to as many Internet connected devices as possible. However its initial focus remains on smartphones and tablets, and the company says ZTE will launch its second Firefox OS smartphone later this week, with higher-end and dual core options made available during 2014.

The organisation is also stepping up plans to bring Firefox OS to tablets with the launch of a contribution programme that will see dedicated contributors supplied with reference tablets manufactured by Foxconn to accelerate development.

Firefox OS is just one of a number of open source mobile operating systems to emerge in the last few years, with Sailfish, Tizen and Ubuntu Mobile all looking to position themselves as genuine alternatives to iOS and Android.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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