Motorola Mobility just announced that it is licensing the Reference Design Kit (RDK) from Comcast to enhance the development of applications for set top boxes (STBs) and other consumer devices, such as tablets, smart TVs, and game consoles.
The two major reasons given by Motorola: 1) to support Comcast’s key technical initiatives and 2) to provide a tool for Motorola to drive the shift to an all IP infrastructure. Since RDK is a middleware layer, Motorola will also reap the benefit of reducing development time and support effort by eliminating the need to write code for each individual device (device layer abstraction).
My first reaction was that this is a smart move at multiple levels. There are the obvious reasons: partnering with Comcast at a deep level, increasing efficiency/speed of the development team and the ability to support new architectures and devices with minimal effort. Furthermore, on a deeper level, this move signals a potential shift in attitude and suggests receptiveness to more open approaches. That being said, Motorola made it clear they see RDK as an expansion to their portfolio and is committed to having broad platform software solutions.
Given the uncertainty surrounding Home Division since the Google acquisition announcement, it is good to see that the company is moving ahead.
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