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Tizen developers gather this week; Omlet messaging platform to add some edginess

Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch to work with Omlet and HTML 5 for third-party developers to make apps that keep messages private

June 2, 2014 12:39 PM ET

Computerworld - The emerging Tizen OS has attracted few radical types, just as other open source platforms like Android did in their early days.

When the third annual Tizen Developer Conference kicks off this week in San Francisco, it will feature some well-known companies not necessarily associated with the word "radical," such as powerhouses Intel and Samsung as well as some newcomers looking to bring new ideas to the table.

Samsung plans to show off its new Samsung Z 4.8-in. display smartphone running Tizen. It promises to be the first commercially available smartphone running Tizen when it ships in the third quarter, starting in Russia.

Samsung Z
Samsung will show off its new 4.8-in. Z smartphone at the Tizen Developer Conference this week.

Representing more of the radical side of the Tizen community will be Monica Lam, a computer science professor at Stanford University since 1988, now on leave. She's the CEO of startup MobiSocial, the maker of Omlet, an open and programmable messaging platform.

In her keynote on Tuesday, Lam plans to announce that Omlet messaging applications -- and their full focus on privacy -- can now run on the Gear 2 smartwatch running Tizen, which Samsung put on sale for $300 in April.

The Gear 2 runs Tizen, but communicates via Bluetooth with the Samsung Galaxy S 5, an Android phone.

A Gear 2 running Omlet will be able to quickly, in two clicks, send a photo snapped with the smartwatch's camera, to friends. Gear 2 users will also be able to initiate new voice and text messages while running or otherwise on the go, and respond to notifications that someone has texted, emailed or called with canned responses.

Some canned text responses like, "I'll call you later," are already native to the Gear 2, but Omlet is designed to make the process simpler.

Lam said in an interview in advance of her keynote that she hopes Omlet will become an open messaging platform that becomes commonplace across devices used in cars, wearables and elsewhere in the evolving world called the Internet of Things. Such devices need an efficient OS like Tizen, and can't really accommodate full Android.

"What's important is for all devices to talk," she said. "An open messaging platform is needed for all to standardize upon."

The central premise of Omlet is that users can fully maintain control of their messages, photos and videos -- storing the data in their own cloud account like DropBox and out of the hands of a big corporation like Facebook or Google.

"Omlet is a fun and safe way to connect with friends using the widest range of tools for self-expression while still giving you the peace of mind that your data will never be monetized or sold for money," the Omlet Web site says.



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