After years of hype, the Internet of Things is finally making its way into this here reality of ours. The array of connected devices trying to integrate themselves into our lives–from watches and workout clothes to kitchen appliances and cars–only seems to grow as time marches futuristically onward. And if the company behind Ubuntu Linux has anything to say about it, this vast array of intelligent objects will all be open source.
Earlier today, Canonical (“the company behind Ubuntu”) announced the arrival of Snappy Ubuntu Core, an operating system for the Internet of Things. The lightweight OS is designed to power things like drones, robots, appliances, and home automation platforms.
Like its desktop counterpart, Snappy Ubuntu isn’t aiming for widespread adoption right out of the gate. At launch, they have 22 partners on board, including companies that specialize in smart hubs, robots, sensors, and making chips. Initially, the platform will likely attract the sort of hobbyist developers and open source enthusiasts already familiar with Ubuntu and then, Canonical hopes, find its way into a more mainstream selection of gadgets.
The company’s announcement details just a few of the possibilities:
The huge range of software on Ubuntu helps developers with sophisticated processing such as vision, sensor processing, motion and location. This popularity leads to frequent sightings of ‘Ubuntu in the wild’ in projects as diverse as self-driving cars, entertainment control systems, deep space mission control centers, and smart display systems. Ubuntu Core provides a production-ready platform for products that will ship across the globe, be hard to access physically and be connected to the internet for updates and security fixes.
The hardware required by Snappy Ubuntu is pretty minimal–It demands only a 600 Mhz processor and 128 MB of RAM–so an old spare laptop could easily be used to start toying with the platform.