EU Invests €10 Million in Universal App Platform

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Webinos is a "Secure WebOS Application Environment" project aiming at delivering a development platform for software components which work across different devices and operating systems. Including TVs.

Will this be the consolidator needed for an emerging connected TV industry being fragmented with multiple platforms such as HbbTV, Open IPTV Forum, YouView, Samsung, Google, Apply, Yahoo, Philips, Android, et al? Interesting question. It's this point it's been shaping up to be a battle between the CE Manufacturers, Google and Apple who are all aiming at grabbing the billions of euro in advertising in the emerging convergence which will likely be as disruptive as what happened in the music industry.... if not more. 

"The vision of the project is to create 'a universal application platform'. That means we aim to enable the use of web applications consistently and securely across all internet-enabled screens — including mobile, PC, TV and in-car entertainment units," said Dr Stephan Steglich, consortium lead for the project at the Fraunhofer Institute, in a statement.

The project has been launched with €10 million in EU funding and is scheduled to run for three years. The project's web page predicts a total project cost of €14 million. Developed as open source software, the application platform is designed to enable programmers to develop web applications that work across different device platforms including mobile phones, PCs, home media systems and in-car units. The platform is to be based on standardised web technologies.

Great to see the word Open Source. In fact it's necessary.

The finished platform could work as a "dropbox for all the different devices", Steglich told ZDNet UK. For example, a person could view a programme on television, pause the stream, then resume watching it on a phone or a computer, if these devices were Webinos-equipped, he explained in the article.

Partners contributing to the European Union project include about 20 research facilities and companies. Contributing partners include the Technical University of Munich, the University of Oxford, German Telekom, BMW, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and the W3C standards consortium. The project is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communications Systems (FOKUS).

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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