Mozilla announced this week that it has identified a shortlist of projects for development and testing in their Internet of Things experiment. This follows last December’s decision to stop competing in the smartphone market, instead focusing its energies on other connected devices and the Internet of Things.
The projects that will move forward to development and testing phases include, Project Link – a ‘user agent’ for the smart home, that helps the end user set preferences for device interaction, and automates those connections for the user in a secure environment. Next, Project Sensor Web will be a pilot project for crowdsourcing a pm2.5 sensor network. This would enable local data collection and data access for users, with examples provided of monitoring real-time air quality of a neighboring street, or the current wait time at a favorite café.
Project Smart Home, is focused on bridging the gap in IoT smart home providers between completely boxed solutions like Apple Homekit, and completely DIY solutions like Raspberry Pi. This experiment would combine modular, customizable hardware with easy to follow rules, promoting a smart home powered by Mozilla. Finally, Project Vaani is a voice interface for IoT access, which Mozilla credits as the ‘most natural way to interact with connected devices.’
Last December, following the announcement to end smartphone business at the Mozlando developer event, Mozilla’s SVP of Connected Devices Ari Jaaksi said that as Mozilla continued to develop user experience across connected devices, “we will build everything we do as a genuine open source project, focused on user experience first.” True to their word, Mozilla has invited participation by developers and testers in all four of the IoT projects outlined above. They have created a Community Experimentation Launchpad (CEL) to provide mentorship, resources and toolkits for those interested in testing existing projects or developing their own IoT programs using Mozilla resources and expert mentors to guide the process. There is also a Mozilla Reps Innovation Fund, which seeks to enable developers and IoT enthusiasts access to money that can help them with hardware for device experiments, or funding for 15 developers to hold a Mozilla IoT hackathon.