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CES 2015: Mozilla tackles Google and Apple duopoly with Firefox OS for wearables

Mozilla is planning on breaking down some Apple and Google-enforced barriers by launching a version of its Firefox operating system for wearable devices.

Currently, the two biggest players in the wearable OS market are iOS and Android Wear, but they can only interact with iPhones and Android devices respectively.

Read more: Firefox browser dumps Google for Yahoo search

Mozilla has already shown it is not content to simply develop desktop software, with Firefox OS implemented across budget smartphones and set to be included with Panasonic’s 4K TVs later this year.

Joe Cheng, head of product and project management at Mozilla’s mobile division, stressed that it was time the firm’s OS expanded its reach, bringing its open-source platform to the wearables scene.

"We want to break that single-brand barrier," Cheng said during a presentation at CES 2015. "We want to make sure what we're building is right for the user instead of just another product on the market."

The ultimate goal is for Firefox OS to become the primary operating system for all mobiles, wearables and other smart devices, enabling easy and rapid communication between multiple forms of hardware. Cheng’s presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show focused on the possibility of connecting with a multitude of smart appliances, from washing machines to smartwatches, touching upon the predicted growth of the Internet of Things.

Firefox OS could find success, initially at least, with low-cost wearable manufacturers in China, as the operating system is already being used in budget handsets in a number of Asian markets. There is currently no word on when the OS would be available on a wearable device, but Mozilla is in talks with several interested parties.

Read more: Firefox browser might soon be coming to iOS

However, it’s clear that Mozilla has its work cut out in order for Firefox OS to reach a market share where it can compete with Android and iOS. On mobiles, the OS has been criticises for its lack of speed, but if that can be rectified, its open-source technologies could prove attractive for manufacturers of wearable products.