The Internet of Things has become a tech industry obsession and Samsung wants Tizen to run the show.
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At the Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, representatives from the Linux Foundation, Intel, and Samsung made the case that, after three years, the Tizen operating system can compete and Tizen products have reached the market.
"From the start, Tizen has been about creating a common platform that can be used for all manner of devices," said Brian Warner, manager of the Tizen project at the Linux Foundation.
Warner called Tizen the "OS of Everything." Like Google's Android, Tizen is an open-source operating system based on Linux. Unlike Android, Tizen's focus has been on web technology -- developers until recently, with the debut of a native SDK, created Tizen apps using HTML5.
This has been a source of doubt, above and beyond the long odds facing those who would challenge Apple, Google, and Microsoft in the smartphone market. Web technology continues to be seen as a second-class citizen, something less than optimal for creating responsive, sophisticated software, particularly on resource-constrained mobile devices.
In part, web technology has lagged because platform leaders have more to gain by advancing the native development, which they control, than they do by advancing the capabilities of an open platform. But among companies that don't control established native development platforms -- Intel, Mozilla, and Samsung, among others -- web technology is ready for prime time.
Jong-Deok Choi, executive VP Samsung, dismissed doubts about web apps. "We have proof they are wrong," he said about naysayers, and proceeded to show off existing and upcoming Tizen products.
The highest profile product based on Tizen is Samsung's Gear 2 smartwatch, which shipped earlier this year to modestly favorable reviews. There are also two cameras running Tizen. Choi showed off the Samsung Z, the first Tizen-based smartphone, scheduled to ship in Russia in late summer. He also introduced the upcoming Tizen TV, a "smart" TV that can run Web apps.
Google tried to succeed with a similar product, the Android-based Google TV, but failed. It is expected to try again shortly with Android TV.
Choi said that Unity Technologies, maker of the popular Unity game engine, plans to introduce a Tizen conversion tool in the third quarter. This will make it easy to build Tizen versions of games developed with Unity. Game makers will
Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio
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