Panasonic plots next-gen smart TVs powered by Firefox OS

Michelle Clancy | 20-01-2014

Panasonic has announced a partnership with Mozilla to release next-generation smart TVs powered by Firefox OS.

Mozilla and Panasonic will work together to use Firefox OS and its open ecosystem to bring in HTML5 and other Web technologies already prevalent on PCs, smartphones and tablets. Developers can use HTML5 to create new applications and services by mashing up TV with content from the Web universe. And, by using Mozilla's WebAPIs for hardware control and operation, next generation smart TVs will also be capable of monitoring and operating devices inside and outside of the home, such as emerging smart home appliances.

"Through Panasonic's partnership with Mozilla, we will create further innovation in smart TV technologies and features, which will take consumers to a whole new level of interaction and connectivity inside and outside of the home," said Yuki Kusumi, director of the TV business division of the AVC Networks Co of Panasonic.

To start with, the partnership will mean that basic functions that are typically written as embedded programs, such as menus and the electronic programme guide (EPG) which, will be written in HTML5, making it possible for developers to easily create applications for smartphones or tablets to remotely access and operate the TV. In addition, through Web services, next-generation smart TVs can display personalised user interfaces, featuring the user's favourites and add new functions for multiple users sharing the same screen, after devices are purchased.

"As we see more partners supporting Firefox OS and the open Web, Firefox OS helps solidify open Web standards for smart screen solutions," said Li Gong, senior vice president of mobile devices and president of Asia operations at Mozilla. "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 combining our collective expertise and know-how, we will create amazing products together."