Hardware Investigate

The Home Needs an Operating System (and an App Store)

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Executive Summary

The authors argue that heterogeneity is hindering technological innovation in the home - homes differ in terms of their devices and how those devices are connected and used. To abstract these differences, they propose to develop a home-wide operating system. A HomeOS can simplify application development and let users easily add functionality by installing new devices or applications. The development of such an OS is an inherently inter-disciplinary exercise. Not only must the abstractions meet the usual goals of being efficient and easy to program, but the underlying primitives must also match how users want to manage and secure their home.

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