Embeddable OS X

There’s not much talk on this, so I wanted to put this out there. Let’s say you have a device and you control it with software written for OS X, it’s a Cocoa-based application. Now, let’s say that what you give your customers is the device plus a mac with your software installed. From a completeness perspective, it seems like it’s more of a hacked up tool than something really packaged up as a product, right?

Imagine Ford Motor Co. revamping it’s robot controllers to OS X, shipping robotic assemblers with a small screen that displays the running Cocoa program. When the UAC worker turns it on the first time, a blue Ford logo appears on a white screen and fades away as the boot completes. The next thing that appears is the robot controller application, ready for use. No extraneous applications or distractions, just the robot application.

I really think this could be done with some hacking. What I imagine is that there’s a market out there for people who are writing mac software that have a singular purpose. What if you could buy an appleTV, rip it apart and put it back together in some custom hardware. Then when you booted up your screen showed not the pale-grey apple, but your company logo. What the user would then see after boot up is simply your application, already loaded and running. There’s nothing to double click, no dock, no way to get at the actual system except in some obfuscated way so that it can’t get screwed up.

In that way, OS X is available for your applicaiton in full, but your application is all you can run. The entire user experience is wrapped around your company and your product. The os is irrelevant to the end user, they just want to run your robot, drive your car, whatever. Best would be if you could fit the customized OS X on a USB stick that you could send to your customers each time they had to upgrade (outside of the normal system upgrades themselves).


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