Move over, Siri and Alexa. Mozilla is working on its own virtual assistant, but not just for your phone. A series of projects by the developers of the Firefox browser is laying the groundwork for a helper that will control your home through the Internet of Things.
The first is Project Link, the brains, which Mozilla describes as a "personal user agent" that will learn how you like to interact with all of your smart home devices, and then help automate their functions.
Project SensorWeb will create sensors, as well as an open platform to share the data from those sensors. Not only will the sensors help Project Link learn about each user's environment, but the data can be crowdsourced to provide developers with detailed information for more advanced programs. The first of these projects will be a PM2.5 air pollution sensor network, so that individuals and governments can better get a sense of the air quality in different parts of the world.
Third is Project Smart Home, Mozilla's answer to Apple's HomeKit and other smart home platforms. This project would pair modular technology, such as lights, locks, and thermostats, with an easy-to-understand rules-based programming. There are already a number of smart home systems already on the market, but few have really taken off, so it will be interesting to see how Mozilla not only distinguishes itself, but if it can gain market share.
Finally, Project Vaani will be Mozilla's competitor to Siri and the Amazon Echo. It will listen to and respond to voice commands, such as turning down the lights, or playing music.
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These new technologies are being developed from the same team behind the late Firefox OS—which Mozilla gave up on in December—so it's fair to question if these new projects will spawn anything great or useful. These four projects are in very early stages, but those interested in following along can look up each project on Mozilla's wiki for the latest updates.
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