Current development boards for Internet of Things solutions have one big problem: they are very expensive. Boards like the Raspberry Pi or Arduino have a limited feature set and simple extensions, like a GSM shield, can cost $80. That is a shockingly high price when a full smartphone can be available for just $30. Why not break out the mainboard from a mobile phone and use that to develop embedded projects? Cheaper and more powerful.
It’s built on top of Gecko, so you can use Firefox OS APIs. Interesting.
The single greatest problem of this approach is the GPIO availability. Phones do offer some GPIO functionality, but it is very limited and has far fewer I/O ports than a full development board.
The lack of Ethernet port can be offset with a external USB adapter, just as the lack of a SATA using a USB case.
This is quite great for everything else: multiple cameras, lots of sensors, lots of radios (GSM, LTE, Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC), own battery, multiple embedded microphones and sound output, micro-HDMI, SDCard slot, their own screen with touch, USB, rather powerful processors…
I’ve been working on something similar for a while but rather than a OS, everything runs in the user space on android devices. http://protocoder.org It’s open source!
Why another os? Why not use Android? Or even better, install Linux if you have the drivers for the bits of hardware you are interested in.