Panasonic and Mozilla team up to bring Firefox OS to smart TVs
By Dave LeClair
January 8, 2014
Following its planned move into the smartphone arena, Mozilla has teamed up with Panasonic to bring the Firefox OS to next-generation smart TVs. The companies say that the open platform, which is based on HTML5 and other web technologies, will give TV viewers more personalized and optimized access to web and broadcasting content and services through the internet.
In addition to online content, Panasonic also promises personalized user interfaces, which is something smartphone, tablet and PC users are already accustomed to. TV interfaces, on the other hand, are typically locked to whatever the manufacturer ships, which more often than the not leave a lot to be desired.
Panasonic added that the move would allow basic functions that are traditionally baked in, such as menus and electronic program guides (EPGs), to be written in HTML5. This makes it possible for developers to create applications that would give users the ability to remotely access and operate the TV via their smartphone or tablet.
"As we see more partners supporting Firefox OS and the open Web, Firefox OS helps solidify open Web standards for smart screen solutions,” says Dr. Li Gong, Senior Vice President of Mobile Devices and President of Asia Operations at Mozilla. "This new platform enables developers and service providers to create a wide range of applications and services to deliver a new user experience."
This seems like a favorable move for both companies, as it could give Panasonic an advantage over its competitors in terms of the apps it offers and quality of its interface. For Mozilla, it could open up its OS to a large amount of potential users who may not otherwise be exposed to it. That could lead to more apps being developed, which is always a good thing.
It hasn't been announced when the new Firefox OS-powered TVs will be available.