A new open source operating system, "Webinos”, downloaded
by more than 5000 developers, has been designed to provide an alternative to
Apple, Microsoft, Google and Mozilla and will have the ability to connect a
range of devices, such as car stereos, TVs, mobiles and even heart monitors, so
that they can communicate with each other.
The OS has been developed by more than 30 organisations,
including the EU and has seen an investment of £11.8 million from various
partners, who also include BMW, W3C, Sony, Samsung and Telephonica.
It’s thought that Webinos will allow users to customise the
operating system to suit their individual needs. Whilst it’s possible to
connect other devices to an existing OS, the developers believe that
pre-installed OS’ give users less choice.
At the moment, people from 155 countries around the globe
have shown interest in the Webinos website, according to the BBC.
"Webinos is an EU-funded project and affiliate program
aiming to define and deliver an Open Source Platform and software components
for the Future Internet in the form of web runtime extensions, to enable web
applications and services to be used and shared consistently and securely over
a broad spectrum of converged and connected devices, including mobile, PC, home
media (TV) and in-car units,” the official Webinos website says.
Whilst the OS is designed to run on Android or PC platforms,
it can also carry out such functions as sharing heart monitor data with the
user’s mobile device and their GP. It can also be used for sat nav, ICE systems
and more, all connecting to the OS.
"There are lots and lots of open-source projects which
never attract a community," said Ian Brown, associate director of Oxford
University's Cybersecurity Centre.
"They are released and the codes go online, but they
aren't quite useful enough to build a head of steam. Open source means anyone
can look but not that anyone actually will."
"What you lose in open source is security through
obscurity," said Mr Allott. "What you gain is a lot of peer