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The Future is Now: webinos Aims to Deliver Seamless, Secure Exchange of Data Across Multiple Platforms
04 April 2011
Applications dominate today’s smartphone market. In the future, internet-capable televisions, tablet and desktop PCs, and cars will all run apps, which can, for example, help plan and book a ski trip.
To allow web applications run on four screens, the webinos project consortium creates a full open source code base. The tagerted technology will allow different devices and applications to work together, securely, seamlessly and interoperably. Most recentely, the consortium has summarized the first research results in four reports covering use cases, security, technical requirments and industry landscape. The reports are now available for download at www.webinos.org.
The webinos project brings together major, international companies and research institutions including Fraunhofer FOKUS, Technische Universität München, Oxford University with electronics companies such as Sony Ericsson and Samsung, carmaker BMW, the standardization body W3C and telecommunication operators like Deutsche Telekom. webinos is funded by a ten million Euro grant from the European Union.
“The result of the webinos project is an open source platform that allows the safe exchange of data services across multiple devices,” explains Dr Stephan Steglich, consortium leader at Fraunhofer FOKUS. The tools provided through the platform will enable software designers from any 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.
New business opportunities
“It is already clear that the opportunities for new business models are endless, especially as the webinos project is targeting a standardised interactivity platform for software and application developers to design secure, personalised and innovative apps,” says Dr Nick Allott, webinos technical coordinator and founder of NquiringMinds Ltd. The technology allows web applications to be simultaneously accessed on your television, your computer, your games consol or music player and your car.
“Small and medium-sized enterprises would also benefit from an uncomplicated and low-cost ‘foot in the door’ of the world of apps,” Dr Steglich adds. “They do not need to go to the expense of purchasing or developing the software themselves if they want to tailor services to a wide variety of terminals.”
A secure web experience
Privacy and security concerns are at the heart of webinos. It allows barrier-free usability, but only with user permission. Embedded in the open source platform are features that put sensitive data and functions under explicit user control, and not left to an questionable trustworthiness of a cloud. „User expectations on Security and Privacy“ are covered by one of the published reports.
The platform developed within webinos is still in the design phase, with the first prototypes expected to be completed end of 2011. The webinos consortium welcomes input into the development of the platform. If you are interested in providing expertise in the form of use-cases and requirements or to participate in the specification process and open source development, contact the developers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
webinos (Secure Web Operating System Application Delivery Environment) intends to deliver a platform for web applications across mobile, PC, home media (TV) and in-car devices. The project receives ten million Euro co-funding, under the EU FP7 ICT Programme, No 257103, and runs for three years started in September 2010. webinos has been initiated by a research consortium with the Fraunhofer Institute FOKUS at the helm.
More than 20 partners are represented within the consortium. Research facilities: Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (DE), University of Oxford (UK), TNO (NL), National Technical University of Athens (GR), Instituto Superiore Mario Boella (I), Politecnico di Torino (I), Universita di Catania (I), Technische Universität München (DE), Interdisciplinary Institute for Broadband Technology (BE); Global Players: Deutsche Telekom AG (DE), W3C (F), Telecom Italia S.p.A. (I), BMW Forschung und Technik GmbH (DE), Sony Ericsson Mobile Communication AB (SE), Samsung Electronics Ltd (UK), Telefonica Investigation y Desarrollo SA (E), DOCOMO Communications Laboratories Europe GmbH (DE); SMEs: AmbieSense Ltd (UK), Antenna Volantis Ltd (UK), VisionMobile Ltd. (UK), futuretext (UK), IMPLEO Professional Services Limited (UK).