Most of those who have some idea of Tizen know it's being used smartphones and even smart camera's, fridges and in vehicle systems. There are talks about laptops as well but there really is no border here.
Tizen backers like Intel are looking into the concept of profiles that would sprout all kind of Tizen versions that have been adapted for a more compact version. The kind of spin-off of the open-source OS for products beyond the realm of computers, smartphones and cars. These ideas were aired by Chris Norman, who is a senior technical marketing engineer at Intel.
Tizen is not the only budding mobile operating systems: We all have heard of Firefox OS, Sailfish and Ubuntu but there are also aged and seasoned names like Blackberry and Windows. They are all trying to eat away from the pie that's left over from Android and iOS. Tizen is being backed by Intel and Samsung, both of them working on and supplying endless lines of code. In spring this year Samsung, DoCoMo and Orange are expected to offer the first Tizen smartphone that goes beyond the developers models.
Samsung was not too willing to for comment on its Tizen plans. Samsung smartphones mostly run on Android and the company also offers an Android-based camera.
Intel's Chris Norman did not speculate on a time line for Tizen to reach TVs and printers, although cameras are in the shop by now. However, most of the plans are “forward looking.” The focus now is to get the OS in the hands of users through smartphones, soon to be followed by tablets and in-vehicle infotainment systems.
“We’re waiting for Tizen to show up in commercial products,” Norman said. “The APIs [application programming interfaces] are set, the bases are in place, we have the foundation for commercial products.”
It's up to the device developers and producers to figure out what products are most fit for Tizen right now, Norman said. Tizen profiles can be slimmed down and customized for products such as printers and cameras, which typically have less storage and are task-specific.
Devices with a Tizen OS can benefit from a more modern interface, based on HTML5 and other web based technologies. This will make porting software easier for developers and for upgrading and broadening a product range. According to Chris Norman users can write an application once and run it on their Android or Tizen devices. Much will depend on the screen size and the products possibilities. A camera inside a fridge might be possible but one could wonder if there is a mass market for that!
Tizen development started in 2011 after the Linux Foundation and the LiMo Foundation merged their MeeGo and LiMo efforts. Development of Tizen is managed by the Linux Foundation. The current version is 2.x, with Tizen 2.2 announced in July. It is said that next version, 3.0, will be available in 2014.