While every at CES is waiting to see what the big technology companies where bringing, I believe it has been the open-source community who has given a huge step forward thanks to UbuntuTV. Under the slogan “TV for human beings”, Canonical has presented a platform ready to compete with AppleTV or GoogleTV promising to keep television as simple as we have known it in the last decades.
Integrated with Ubuntu One and able to offer a shared screen experience with iOS, Android and Ubuntu devices, what I like the most of this project is the idea of putting an open-source platform at the same level that private ones. The market of connected television has still a long way to go, and the major players (Apple and Google, but also Samsung or Yahoo) are still developing their products to finally conquer user’s hearts. Therefore there is plenty of room here for Ubuntu, which might actually have an advantage: if UbuntuTV is cheap, stable and user-friendly, all those manufacturers who can’t afford developing their own systems will embrace it and help spread it faster by pushing it to the final users.
It might sound a bit like an utopia, but it could happen and mean that TV remains open instead of falling in the same never-ending licenses wars that are delaying the smartphone technology development.