Recently, after five years of silence, a well-known open source software project MiniGUI that has been popular in embedded product development for many years once again becomes the focus of the market. MiniGUI developer FMSoft also announced the launch of the HybridOS IoT operating system project and launched the crowdfunding campaigne of HybridRun, a HybridOS’s companion development prototype on Indiegogo platform (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hybridrun).
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/embed/A1vi7jy1z0M
Vincent Wei, general manager of FMSoft Software, explained the reasons for restarting the MiniGUI project and launching the HybridOS open source project for the operating system:
“As an open source basic software, the development of MiniGUI reached its first climax in the era of feature phones. After the large-scale promotion and application of open source and free Android, the development of MiniGUI entered a low tide. However, with the rise of the Internet of Things MiniGUI has once again gained market recognition. In 2018, Many famous chip companies such as Zhuhai Allwinner Technology CO., Ltd. and Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics Co., Ltd. actively request cooperation with FMSoft Software to support the continuous development of MiniGUI by paying license fees.
“From a market perspective, the development of IoT products has typical technical complexity, involving embedded systems, cloud, mobile clients, and even artificial intelligence. Most of the networked operating systems focus on solving the problem of the device side, but do not rethink the design of the operating system from the entire IoT application environment, and there is no more achievements in improving development efficiency and reducing development costs. I think this is a blank and an opportunity, this is why FMSoft Software deside to launch the HybridOS operating system.”
In addition to addressing development cost and efficiency issues, HybridOS is also planning to introduce blockchain technology to address the security of the Internet of Things. For this, Vincent Wei said:
“Because of the large number of virtual currency ICO scams, in the eyes of some technical experts, various virtual currency and blockchain technologies have become invisible restricted areas. This is not normal. I think blockchain technology provides a new way of thinking to solve the existing problems. In fact the internal technology is not a mysterious thing. For example, asymmetric encryption, digital signature, etc., have long been widely used in some occasions. As a technician, we should not blindly exclude blockchain technology.”
“We introduced blockchains in HybridOS, not for ICO, but to improve or solve the security problems that are common in IoT applications, such as avoiding hackers gaining private information through attacking remote cameras. The logic of we using the blockchain technology is very simple: since you can solve the virtual currency transaction problem without a centralized node, you should be able to solve the identity verification problem of the object to object communication without the centralized authentication server.”
It is reported that Vincent Wei recently published a series of articles to explain the development methods and approaches of the operating system, introduced the idea of HybridOS. These articles have caused great repercussions in the industry. For example, the well-known computer scientist Gong Li (Former President of Mozilla Foundation, General Manager of MSN China and Vice President of Microsoft China Research Institute, Dean of China Sun Engineering Research Institute, etc.) evaluated the work of the Vincent Wei and his team as following.
“Starting from the development efficiency of IoT products, HybridOS’s technical route has a high degree of rationality. However, the development of the operating system requires a lot of investment and long-term iteration. I hope that the development team can effectively integrate all resources based on the open source community so that HybridOS can be recognized by the industry as soon as possible. We look forward to the success of the team!”
Chen Yu, an associate professor of Computer Science at Tsinghua University, praised HybridOS’s design philosophy:
“Unlike other RTOS-based IoT operating systems, Vincent Wei and his team’s HybridOS are more in line with product development needs. Starting from lowering development costs and improving development efficiency, HybridOS is more likely to be recognized by developers.”
Sun Yanbang, Smart Home Division R&D Director of Zhuhai Allwinner Technology CO., Ltd., also has high hopes for HybridOS:
“Internet of Things products are characterized by diversification and fragmentation. Chip design companies face a wide range of choices and a large number of repetitive developments when providing product reference design platforms, which affects customer product development efficiency.
HybridOS integrates various open source technologies well, and has its own features and highlights, forming a complete software system that can significantly reduce the amount of repetitive investment in IoT chips and product development.”
In any case, developing a completely new operating system is a very difficult thing, which is basically impossible for a small team. Therefore, it is the only way for HybridOS to use the open source community to make use of the resources of all parties to develop together. In this regard, Vincent Wei mentioned:
“With this development of HybridOS, I hope that we can work together with more companies that agree with this idea to create this operating system in a market-oriented way. FMSoft can not and does not intend to eat the entire market. I hope that companies that are really willing to invest resources (finance and manpower) will do it together, and everyone will earn their own money. For example, cloud computing vendors, who are willing to invest in the Internet of Things cloud services can join in. Chip companies, who are willing to invest in BSPs, also can join in too. If we can iterate and implement this operating system step by step according to our ideas, it will have a profound impact on China’s basic software, and even the entire global infrastructure software industry. To this end, HybridOS will remain open source and will strive to grow globally.”
Vincent Wei finally mentioned: Twenty years ago, I created MiniGUI, an open source software project. As an important basic software, MiniGUI is widely used in embedded devices and IoT devices. MiniGUI is my first half of my career, and HybridOS will be my second half of my career: an open source, Linux-based, new operating system for the Internet of Things.”
HybridOS will succeed or not, we will wait and see.