Many in the open source world have touted how perfect open-source operating systems and software is for the internet of things. The customizable nature of open source makes it an ideal playing ground for developers creating applications and services for various devices. And, indeed, the open source world appears to be taking a more invested look at the internet of things, and the future of robotics. Canonical — a U.K.-based software company — recently revealed that it will offer the core version of its Ubuntu operating system for the internet of things.
Ubuntu is a Linux-based operating system that originally launched for desktop only, and came out for mobile in 2013. Now the Snappy Ubuntu Core is available for smart devices and other devices for the internet of things. Developers for smart home items, and creators of drones and other robots will be able to use the operating system to run their devices. The Core will also associate with an app store for users.
TechCrunch quotes Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth:
From scientific breakthroughs by autonomous robotic explorers to everyday miracles like home safety and energy efficiency, our world is being transformed by smart machines that can see, hear, move, communicate and sense in unprecedented ways. Ubuntu Core is the secure platform for super-smart stuff, with an app store that brings the very latest software straight to your device and easy connections to every cloud.
Canonical has hit a few roadblocks in getting developers and users on board the Ubuntu train. As the company launched upgraded versions of its operating system, many were unimpressed with the numbers of developers working with Ubuntu; then, an Indiegogo crowd-funding project that aimed to raise $32 million for the production of the smartphone dubbed the Ubuntu Edge failed, raising just under $13 million. But this move into the internet of things and robotics is Canonical making good on the promise it made back in 2013 to launch Ubuntu into areas of tech beyond desktops and smartphones.
It’s possible that Canonical’s move into the internet of things will set a precedent for other open source operating systems. Samsung’s Tizen has been making international headlines, and the operating system’s makers have said that they look towards Tizen running on all manner of devices. With other open source systems advancing onto the market slowly but surely, it seems as though their race towards the internet of things is just beginning.