Panasonic to bring Mozilla OS to smart TVs

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic has joined forces with Mozilla to develop and promote Firefox OS as an open and HTML5-based platform for smart TVs.

The initiative will take Firefox OS away from PCs, smartphones and tablets to offer consumers more personalised and optimised broadcast content and services through the internet.

In next generation smart TVs, basic functions, such as menus and EPGs (Electronic Program Guide) which are currently written as embedded programs, will be written in HTML5, making it possible for developers to easily create applications for smartphones or tablets to remotely access and operate the TV.

Furthermore, Panasonic said the next generation of smart TVs will gain full compatibility with web technologies and HTML5 standards used for cloud services and various future networked devices, enabling data mash ups on a single application. Meanwhile, web APIs for hardware control and operation will also see smart TVs capable of monitoring and operating devices inside and outside of the home, such as smart home appliances.

In other Firefox OS news, Chinese vendor ZTE, which last year launched the first Firefox OS phone via Telefonica in Spain, said this year it will develop new phones with higher­end and dual core options.

Mozilla has also opened a Firefox contribution program, providing dedicated contributors with access to resources and reference hardware, initially with tablets from Foxconn.

Electronics firm VIA also announced that its small computing projects Rock and Paper would be available with a preview of Firefox OS running in a desktop environment. At this point in time APC Rock and Paper are targeted at early adopters and developers wanting to help find, file and fix bugs for this version of Firefox OS which comes from the master central code base.

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