Here's A Good Sign That HP's Decision To Open Source WebOS Will Pay Off

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WebOS has only been available as free open source mobile operating system for a few weeks, but a surprising new use for it has already materialised.That’s a good sign that Meg Whitman and team made the right decision.

A research associate for Stanford University Department of Radiology has written a WebOS app that remotely operates an MRI scanner and lets doctors view the MRI images captured on a TouchPad tablet, reports Forbes.

MRI machines don’t get along with ordinary metals, thanks to the machine’s magnetic field. But the TouchPad was uniquely capable because it is mostly made of plastic and the metal it uses can be removed. Once WebOS became open source, the researcher, Andrew Holbrook, had everything he needed to create this low-cost remote control device.

This is particularly promising because WebOS has been characterised as an operating system that was so deeply flawed it could have been thrown in the trash heap. This is why the HP tablet built on it failed, according to the New York Times.

The problems included things like how WebOS handled video. It was slow or had flickering images or couldn’t easily tell the device to change the video’s orientation, say some who worked with it.

But now that WebOS is open for any brilliant software coder to tinker with, it has a good shot of being fixed. Anyone that enjoys taking on that kind of challenge can contribute. Or anyone can write applications for it in which its particular flaws will have no impact.

HP still has 600 employees working on WebOS, says the New York Times. So its future is still important to the company.

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