Open Mobile Ecosystems – Project Ara and GigaOm Research – June 5, 2014


Open Mobile Ecosystems – Reality of the Future, or just Preso Slideware?
A look into Project Ara and perspectives from GigaOm Research

(SVForum Digital Media SIG is now joined with the SVForum > Mobile Group)

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Open software. Open hardware. Open application markets. These approaches have allowed for transformation in mobile products. The developer community’s has creativity been set free through the modular application store approach – crossing mobile platforms and now, the Internet of things and wearables.

Now, this trend is hitting hardware. The millennial demographic yearns for personalization; yet increasingly the mainstream mobile industry pitches tight integrations between hardware, software and services.

Could open-source platforms of both software and hardware modularity remake the entire mobile ecosystem, and compound billions more people to get on the Internet? Are these directions already unstoppable? Linux is ‘winning’ on the server-side market, why not on the client-side market?

On June 5th we invite industry participants open-source/open platform projects, ask them pressing questions, and invite you participate in the agenda, and to share in a moderated and documented whiteboard session.

Jason Chua, UX Lead,  Google, Project Ara
Jason Chua leads user experience for Project Ara, a open, modular smartphone platform developed by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group. Over the past year, he has led efforts to engage and empower makers of all types including a cross-country maker roadtrip, the development of a “smart” retail experience, and the design of a digital phone configurator. Before Project Ara, Jason co-founded SparkTruck, a mobile fab lab serving elementary and middle school students and teachers. He is an occasional lecturer at the Stanford, and holds degrees in product design and mechanical engineering.

Larry Cornett, Analyst, Gigaom Research
Larry Cornett, Ph.D., is the founder of Brilliant Forge; a consulting practice that helps organizations focus their consumer insights, product vision, business strategy, and technology capabilities into new business opportunities. With more than 18 years of experience in the industry ranging from small startups to large global corporations, Larry is recognized in the industry for his best practices and knowledge of how to successfully design products and services for Consumer Markets.

Prior to founding Brilliant Forge, Larry was a Silicon Valley product executive with over 16 years of experience designing, defining, and building consumer products at several of the biggest and best technology and internet companies; including Apple Computer, Yahoo, eBay, and IBM.

Most recently, Larry was the Vice President of Consumer Products for Yahoo! Search, leading a multinational team of product managers, designers and developers who were focused on creating world-class Search experiences. Before that, he was a Director at eBay, where his team focused on multiple products for Tailored Shopping Experiences, Platform, and International sites.

Earlier in his career, he was a designer at Apple Computer, where he worked on the Finder, OS, and International software; and IBM, where he worked on database and development tools. He was also the principal consultant for MindSpan Design, an interaction design agency where he worked on desktop, web, and mobile solutions for a variety of clients. He received his Ph.D. from Rice University, where he designed and developed a coaching system for training software users. He holds multiple patents, which include design work on web-based products and hardware solutions.

Agenda: three crucial perspectives:
1. Research paper – What numbers are driving the future of open source
platforms? How different are the various open software ecosystems?

2. Presentation – A presentation from a guiding force in open source
OS/hardware and ask top questions driving open source now.

3. Whiteboarding – What do YOU think? Bring your own perspective and
influence to the discussion.

Dialogue drivers; your’s and our’s…
1. Where will developers and consumers win with Open-Source platforms?
2. What opportunities are still untapped?
3. Are open platforms emerging and diverging, or simply merging?
4. How will open-source shape the future of mobile platforms other than
smartphone, for example making a smartphone interact with home, car
(transportation), and on the body (health)?
5. Open software has achieved success on the backend, but not front end
(e.g. Linux desktop has not taken off), how is mobile ecosystem
different? (e.g. Samsung already mentioned using Openstack for mobile
ecosystem, but has been quiet on Tizen project). Note to chairs… CES
announcement… watch/wearable…?
6. What do we as developers want from an Open-Source future?
7. With open hardware bringing low barrier to entry, lots of developers
and faster, richer innovation, what areas should entrepreneur focus
8. What do you think of open hardware accelerators?
9. What advantages do Open-Source OS have to the traditional
hardware-software combo?

Industry and entity background references:
Initiative: Google’s Project Ara
Project Ara promise to bring modular development to the ubiquitous smartphone experience. (

MIT Technology Review:

Time Magazine Review:

Software: Open-Source Operating Systems
Each have generated huge interest in developing open, independent platforms that power phones – and, certainly – a future full of wearable gadgets of all kinds.

Tizen – Samsung has been working with Intel and others on a mobile platform called Tizen. Samsung is bringing Tizen powered smartphone by end of 2014 and Gear 2 smartwatch already utilize Tizen. (Source: Android Community). History of Tizen:

Mozilla – Mozilla, a nonprofit organization, is developing its own
open-source smartphone operating system called Firefox OS. Mozilla
announced a deal with Chinese chip designer Spreadtrum Communications
to bring $25 smartphone to the emerging countries

Ubuntu – London-based Canonical Ltd. is making a smartphone version of
its Linux-based computer operating system called Ubuntu Touch.
Canonical has partnered with BQ and Meizu to produce the first
consumer-grade Ubuntu Phones.

Jolla – Finland-based Jolla’s Sailfish OS is another contender in this
category. Smartphones powered by Sailfish OS are already available
across the EU, Switzerland and Norway. Jolla also plays nicely with
Android as Android apps can run using a compatibility layer available
from the Jolla Store.

6:30pm Arrival and network
7:00pm Announcements
7:10pm Speaker I Research
7:30pm Speaker II Project Ara
7:50pm Speaker III Open source product company (Invited Mozilla and Tizen)
8:10pm Q and A | White board session
9:00pm Adjourn

Location: (map)
AT&T Foundry
260 Homer Avenue
Palo Alto, California 94301 USA

$20 at the door for non-SVForum members
No charge for SVForum members
No registration required

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