THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION has launched 'Project Things', a framework of software that is designed to bring fragmented Internet of Things (IoT) devices together.
Project Things will allow users to create their own IoT hub using a Raspberry Pi, using both web-based commands and although still in the experimental stage, a voice interface.
Mozilla explains its reasoning using an argument that the INQUIRER has been preaching for a while: "Each vendor typically creates a custom application that only works for their own brand. If the future of connected IoT devices continues to involve proprietary solutions, then costs will stay high, while the market remains fragmented and slow to grow.
"We believe the future of connected devices should be more like the open web. The future should be decentralised and should put the power and control into the hands of the people who use those devices. This is why we are committed to defining open standards and frameworks."
The gateway will offer a secure URL for users to see the dashboard for their products.
The Things Gateway includes an IFTTT style rules engine, a home floor plan to map devices and sensors, virtual devices so you can set up before you buy the real device, add-on systems for new devices and protocols as they emerge and OAuth, to ensure safe linking with third parties.
Mozilla provides a complete walk-through to allow you to get started quickly and "takes care of the complicated stuff" so a universal smart home is in the grasp of all users.
Although some devices such as Athom's Homey and Samsung Smartthings have made strides in creating a cross-protocol smart home, there is still a long way to go and all are at the whims of the companies.
For example, recently, Blink, a brand of camera that we have championed in the past removed support for the community built Smartthings integration, without offering a replacement.
Technically, it did nothing wrong (though we suspect its recent acquisition by Amazon may have something to do with it), but it shows that whimsy is a factor in device support.
Hopefully, by offering an open source solution, Mozilla can begin to stop the madness. µ
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