My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Panasonic and Mozilla Foundation form Partnership to bring Firefox OS to Smart TV's - Big boost for Open Web and HTML 5 Platforms making Firefox OS a possible Google Chrome OS Competitor

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Panasonic and Mozilla Foundation form Partnership to bring Firefox OS to Smart TV's - Big boost for Open Web and HTML 5 Platforms making Firefox OS a possible Google Chrome OS Competitor


“Mozilla and Panasonic will work together to promote Firefox OS and its open ecosystem. This development aims to deliver more expansive access into smart TVs by leveraging the HTML5 and Web technologies already prevalent on PCs, smartphones and Tablets, to offer consumers more personalized and optimized access to Web and broadcasting content and Web services.”

Excerpt from a Joint Press Release from Panasonic and Firefox on their partnership to promote Firefox OS as the platform for Panasonic's Smart TV's

Today’s really exciting for people like me. That’s because today marks the beginning of CES (Computer Electronics Show) 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada with a focus on several new areas ranging from Wearable Technology, Robotics, 3D Printing and Fitness Gadgets as described in “What mattered on Sunday at CES 2014”, published January 5, 2014 9:57 PM PST by Nic Healey, CNET News.

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CES 2014 is the premier Technology show, the crème de la crème of what cutting edge in Consumer Electronics and a gentle reminder that you tech’s getting a little stale based on the announced gadgets thus far as stated in “What mattered at CES 2014 -- Press day”, published January 6, 2014 7:41 PM PS by Jennifer Guevin, CNET News.

The noise coming out of CES is at a very high din, but I’ve already begun to zero in on a few interesting Gadgets and products that I’m serious thinking of penning a few lines, being as they have some connection to Telecommunications and they’re just awesome!

Panasonic is going HTML 5 – Firefox OS is going on Smart TV, Laptops and yes Tablets

On such announcement it that made by Panasonic, who’ve chose CES 2014 to announce a partnership with the Mozilla Foundation to use Firefox OS to power their next generation of Smart TV as stated in “Panasonic Smart TVs to use Mozilla's Firefox OS”, published 06/01/2014 By Rik Henderson, Pocket-Lint and “Mozilla Bringing Firefox OS to TVs, Tablets, Desktops”, published 2014-01-06 By Sean Michael Kerner, eWeek..

This must be very big news for the Jamaica Observer to even make passing mention of what’s normally a tech show for Americans as noted in “New software battle coming to smart TVs - More choice and confusion for next generation of TVs” Published Tuesday January 7, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Panasonic’s leaked announcement came moments after LG had officially revealed more details of their plans to use WebOS to power their line of Smart TV as noted in “LG reveals massive plans for webOS TV platform”, published January 6, 2014 12:57 am By Chris Welch, The Verge and “WebOS Design Lead Takes Us Through LG’s New Smart TV Platform Ambitions”, published 06-01-2014 by Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch.

If you’ve been following my blog thus far, you’d remember LG had purchased WebOS from HP (Hewlett Packard) with an intention to use it in their Smart TV back in February 2013 just after CES 2013 as reported in my blog article entitled “LG Electronics purchases WebOS from HP to develope its line of Internet Connected TV's - HP's The Great Gatsby as The Wolverine of Streaming TV rises”.

Panasonic isn’t one to rest on their laurels in the fast-moving Television Industry that has 4K on the horizon and a possible challenge from Apple as predicted in my blog article entitled “Apple to launch TV and a Cloud Gaming Console in 2014 - How the Apple iTV and Television Set can kill The Grandmaster in the guise of Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft”.

This is especially true as China has now Lifter their ban on video Games, a move that may see a flood of Silicon Valley Tech giants proffering Video Gaming Consoles to the  massive Chinese Market, a market segment that has a close relationship with High Definition Television sets as predicted in my blog article entitled “China lifts 13 Year ban on Video Game Consoles - Open Floodgates spells opportunity for debutantes Google, Amazon and Apple to enter the Video Game Arena”.

Especially as they’re still recovering from their battles in the Consumer Electronics world in Japan with Korean LG Electronics and Samsung, with SHARP getting rescued thus far, all chronicled in my blog article entitled “Qualcomm, Intel and Dell to invest in SHARP of Japan - The Rescuers need smartphones, Tablets and Cash Registers”.

Panasonic’s partnership with the Mozilla Foundation is therefore a long-term push of Firefox OS and it Open Web Standards on not only TV’s but also connected devices such as Tablets, Home Entertainment electronics and possibly Connected Home Appliances as noted in “Panasonic Teams Up With Mozilla For Firefox OS-Powered Smart TVs & Open Standards” Push, published 06-01-2014 by Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch.

Mozilla Thrilled at Panasonic Partnership – Big boost for Open Web and HTML 5 Platforms

Mozilla for their part were thrilled with the partnership, as it means that Firefox OS which was launched last year at CES 2013 as originally reported in my blog article entitled “MWC 2013 reveals Firefox OS & Tizen OS launching Second & Third Quarter 2013 respectively - Samsung's Despicable Me 2 & Mozilla practices The ABC's of Death” and my Geezam blog article entitled “Firefox OS and Telecoms Providers debuts low-budget Alcatel One Touch is now blossoming beyond just smartphones”.

This much can be extracted from the comments of Dr. Li Gong, Senior Vice President of Mobile Devices and President of Asia Operations at Mozilla on the deal quote: We are very excited to partner with Panasonic to bring Firefox OS to more people on more platforms. As we see more partners supporting Firefox OS and the open Web, Firefox OS helps solidify open Web standards for smart screen solutions. This new platform enables developers and service providers to create a wide range of applications and services to deliver a new user experience. We see a strong alignment between the visions of Mozilla and Panasonic, and by combing our collective expertise and know-how, we will create amazing products together.”

Indeed it’s big.

What this means in layman's terms is that TV's, Tablets and Laptops from Panasonic will be on the same Ecosystem or common Platform of HTML 5. Effectively, programs and apps written for one device can be use across the range of Panasonic's Smart TV devices, making it not only cheaper for Panasonic to not only make Web Connected TV's but also Gadgets that talk seamlessly together over the Cloud.

Firefox OS Developers will love this and will result in Mozilla Foundation gain more support from the Developer community who up until now were restricted to developing apps for Firefox OS smartphones. They can now create applications that flexibly tie together Home Entertainment, the Internet, Console Gaming and potentially Broadcasting.

More exciting is the interface for Panasonic’s Smart TV. Since they' be written in HTML 5, menus and EPGs (Electronic Program Guide), currently written as proprietary embedded programs, will be written in HTML5. This means not only can Developer change them, but they can possibly be modified and rooted like a smartphone. This helps Developers as well in more way than you can imagine.

Customers are also in for a treat; increased personalization of Services on the Panasonic Smart TV's, with the TV having the capability to differentiate between multiple users, much like a Windows OS Login enables separate Login Accounts.

Interactivity and connectivity of its smart TVs to everything both inside and outside of the house is apparently Panasonic's main benefit from this partnership, not to mention avoiding LG Electronics on-up them, to quote Yuki Kusumi, Director of the TV Business Division of the AVC Networks Company of Panasonic: “Panasonic had been expanding content and services dedicated for Panasonic TVs on our own portal site and our collaboration with Mozilla on Firefox OS will further accelerate various innovations and encourage many new services,”.

Firefox OS beyond smartphones – Cloud Based OS competitor to Google Chrome OS

Beyond creating more couch potatoes, this excites me personally as it’s vindication of my belief in the development of more Mobile Phone OS. Especially as smartphones are overtaking Feature phone globally according to stats from Analyst IDC in my blog article entitled “Analyst IDC States First Quarter of 2013 Smartphones Shipments finally overtake Feature Phones - Sub-US$200 Iron Man 3 Smartphones for Developed World Markets

This suggests that Developing World Countries are now potentially new Smartphone customer thanks to lower sub-US$200 smartphones and the availability of VISA Debit Cards such as your Scotia VISA Debit Card or CIBC VISA Debit Card or even Payoneer, the Prepaid Debit Card from MasterCard for e-commerce Purposes as described in my blog article entitled “Payoneer, the US based Prepaid MasterCard Debit Card - How E-Commerce MSME's, Online workers and Reggae or Dancehall Artiste can receive money via Paypal and spend it in Jamaica


Despite the scene being dominated by Google Android and Apple iOS as noted in my blog article entitled “Apple is Top Gun in smartphones Sales but Samsung generates the most Web Traffic - ComScore Stats for First Quarter of 2013 and StatCounter Stats for June 2012 to June 2013”, I still hold on to the belief that there’s space out there for other Operating Systems, both Mobile and PC/Laptop based!

By developing Linux Mobile OS that are supported by a large manufacturer on the scale of Panasonic, Firefox can potentially go Mainstream on not only Smart Tv, but everything else aside from smartphones. A worthy cloud-based Google Chrome OS is thus now a possibility despite other Laptop and PC manufacturers taking a strong liking to Google Chrome OS as noted in my blog article entitled “US$299 Acer Chromebook C720P launched as the Second Touchscreen Chromebook - Affordable Google Pixel Chromebook clone that’s sure to please this Christmas

Firefox OS on Laptops and Tablets may end up being a worthy competitor to Google Chrome OS Laptops, riding on the popularity of their Browsers on /Desktop, which is now at No. 3 Globally as noted in my blog article entitled “NetMarketShare Stats shows Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer poised for Growth - Rising Tide of the Microsoft Surface and Windows 8.1 Tablets in Real-Time”.

First bit or really practical and exciting News to come out of CES 2014 folks! Stay tuned to my blog for more announcements!
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