Mozilla and Telefonica Team Up to Create Open Web Device

Mozilla has plans for a device that can boot and go online, without requiring a middle app platform like Android or iOS. This is an excellent thought, although there are many initial challenges. The ultimate goal of this project is to reduce the cost of cellphones by allowing them to have less processing powers and compensate local apps with HTML5 based web-apps.

Boot to Gecko wants to create an open platform, that will let developers and users get on the web to use apps, without depending on platform specific technologies. Undoubtedly, in theory, this is as good as any other open idea. However, in my opinion, the ground realities will not permit this project to have a smooth take-off. The mobile space is saturated beyond comparison. While Android has managed to show its head after an aggressive push by Google, it is doubtful whether there is room for another platform in the mobile room.

The Mozilla Blog announced the MWC unveiling, saying,

In a joint press conference, Telefónica revealed their intention to work with us to deliver the very first open Web devices in 2012. These devices, architected entirely on the Web and built based on an HTML5 stack with powerful Web APIs, will mean significant advances in speed and cost reduction for mobile devices in
the future.

The target hardware platform for these devices is a Qualcomm chipset. The plans for this Open Web Device will be submitted to the W3C for standardization.

Here is a proof-of-concept video of Open Web Device from YouTube. It clearly shows the Gaia UI from Boot to Gecko.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.