Japanese Group Pushes Google Android for Embedded Devices

Mar 26, 2009
Yasushi Uchida, Nikkei Electronics
Representative Director Miura
Representative Director Miura
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Current OESF member companies
Current OESF member companies
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

A corporate aggregate established to promote the use of "Android," Google Inc's software platform for mobile devices, in embedded devices started its activities in earnest in Japan March 24, 2009.

IP Vision Inc's Director Masataka Miura will serve as representative director of the corporate aggregate, "Open Embedded Software Foundation (OESF)," which was launched Feb 12, 2009.

The members of the OESF are the companies that are developing Android-based embedded devices. The OESF aims to gather such companies and have them share their technical information and jointly develop systems so that they can develop the market and expand their businesses.

"Open-source Android can significantly cut development costs of embedded devices and bring about new business opportunities for device manufacturers," Miura said. "However, it is hard work for a single company to port and maintain this software platform, which consists of as many as 23 million lines of source code. The OESF members can significantly improve development efficiency by sharing technical information with other member companies and conducting joint developments."

The OESF member companies will develop new driver software and libraries, as well as frameworks and applications for different business categories from now on. Specifically, they will set up various working groups such as "VoIP Framework," "Network & Security Framework," "Measurement & Control Framework" and "STB Framework," and conduct a joint development in each group. The OESF will allocate part of its membership fee to such development.

The OESF currently has 23 member companies and expects about 100 more companies to join it within 2009.

"Many of the current members are STB (set top box)-related manufacturers," Miura said. "And we have some car navigation system manufacturers as well."

The OESF will also operate in countries including Taiwan and Korea, which have large embedded markets like Japan. In fact, it established an office in Taiwan March 24, 2009, and is planning to have one in Korea in June 2009.

Commenting on the establishment of the OESF, Google said, "We give our all-out support to the aim of the OESF. We are holding high expectations for the OESF's activities, as our activities are concentrating on the mobile phone market. We hope the OESF will cooperate with the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) and promote developments that do not overlap with the OHA's projects."