Mozilla hopes the Internet of Things (IoT) will be the next great frontier for its open source software platform. That's according to a recent announcement regarding new plans by the organization for IoT projects.
On March 1, Mozilla's Senior Vice President for Connected Devices, Ari Jaaski, announced that the open source organization seeks to "develop, test and evaluate" four IoT software projects. They include Project Link, Project Sensor Web, Project Smart Home and Project Vaani.
Together, the four projects represent a pretty comprehensive slice of the emerging IoT ecosystem. They cover areas ranging from smart appliances to AI toolkits that aim to let users control IoT devices seamlessly using voice commands.
Notably, Jaaski's announcement did not mention Firefox OS, Mozilla's open source operating system for embedded applications. But it seems a safe bet that Firefox OS, or something close to it, will be at the core of Mozilla's IoT endeavors.
That's significant because the IoT plans reflect Mozilla's efforts to forge a broad new path for Firefox OS. Introduced in 2013, the Linux-based OS was originally intended primarily to power smartphones. That vision never got off the ground. Late last year, when Mozilla announced that it would stop promoting Firefox OS for mobile devices, the platform's future seemed quite uncertain.
The organization said then that it wanted to "pivot" Firefox OS to a new group of devices. But it was relatively unspecific about its actual plans, and it was easy at the time to assume that Mozilla simply wanted to give the community a good story as it sought to kill Firefox OS.
Then, the organization announced success placing Firefox OS on Panasonic smart TVs first in January, and then with an expanded offering this week. Mozilla's move toward the IoT market seems to confirm that the organization is indeed quite serious about keeping Firefox OS alive and well.