Mozilla Chief R&D Officer on Creating People Focused Tech Products
Creating People Focused Tech Products: Future of The Internet and Open Source Philosophy
When it comes to the future of the internet, I believe the best way to predict the future is to invent it. Regardless, there is a mission that we have and that’s really about ensuring the internet is a global public resource open and accessible to all.
At the beginning of the internet and the web, it was exciting because you could connect with people across the world. Then there were new capabilities that were happening across the late 80s and early 90s. So the future of the internet can be classified in a couple of different ways. There is what we’re doing today.
In terms of the future of how we connect, there will be more attention on privacy. Now, what I mean by that is that I think there’s a lot of concern about privacy. Recently, there is an ongoing evolution of privacy, security, and safety. Not just in the way we make products, but for the products themselves. And I think we lost a little bit of that as an industry. Yet, there’s a way to regain that, which is to respect users and to put users first.
So on the one hand, it’s taking the things that we have existing, like browsing the web. And giving people that confidence again, that they should feel safe, private, and reassured that no one is misusing it. That’s really what we think about and what we stand for when we make our products. Now there’s another side of this, which is what the future looks like in terms of how we interact
More Human-Like Interaction
That, in my mind, we want to make it more human. We would like for people to be able to interact on the internet with each other. And that means things like mixed reality, voice interfaces, and such. So we want the internet to become a part of the world around you and not just a portal into it.
So we’ve spent a lot of time doing some innovative work on VR and augmented reality. We do this because it’s a way for you to actually bring some of the information into the places where you are that feel more whole. That shows up in some of the product designs that we do where, for instance, we have a project called Hubs, which uses mixed reality to meet with other people.
Open Source Philosophy
We bring a lot of the folks who are working at Mozilla together to talk about our plans to get stakeholders together to figure out what the next roadmap looks like, it’s a great way for us to actually do that
There are cases where an end-user actually is not necessarily creating it. Then there are cases where an early adopter has the ability to help co-create. And that’s one of the interesting advantages of being more transparent and an open-source project. Essentially, we’re open by design. That means bringing multiple stakeholders and other partners in who have other opinions to help build things together.