European committee chases cross platform dream
Another day in the telecoms industry, another attempt to scale the unscalable mountain of cross platform services, and another committee formed.
A total of22 players from across the mobile, consumer electronics and automotive industries this week announced the inauguration of a European body to “develop a single universal platform for the development of mobile internet applications” and address the issue of fragmentation across application-running platforms.
Known as Webinos (Secure WebOS Application Environment) and spearheaded by the Fraunhofer Institute FOKUS group, the organisation intends to deliver a platform for web applications across mobile, PC, home media (TV) and in-car devices and all within three years.
The project will start in September 2010 and is co-funded by the European Union, which has provided a grant of €10m. The standardised technology which the consortium is developing, will allow software designers from across the industry to create web applications and services that can be used and shared over a broad spectrum of converged and connected devices – regardless of their respective hardware specifications and operating systems, or so the organisation said.
There are some big fish from the telecoms space – Deutsche Telekom, Telcom Italia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung Electronics, as well as the W3C, the international internet standards body, which will work together to identify requirements “which are industry based rather than in the interest of any particular organisation.” Naturally, open source technologies are being used as the foundation for this standardised approach. But of course, the wonderful thing about standards is that there’s so many of them to choose from.
“The vision of the project is to create ‘a universal application platform’. That means, we aim to enable the use of web applications consistently and securely across all internet-enabled screens – including mobile, PC, TV and in-car entertainment units,” said Dr. Stephan Steglich, consortium lead at the Fraunhofer Institute FOKUS. “We want to overcome restrictions applied by proprietary and vendor-specific technologies, enabling the rapid design of more personalized, secure, and innovative applications. Our goal is the development of a secure platform that facilitates the creation of applications for multiple, heterogeneous, devices and operating systems.”