"Everybody is trying to make money out of using people's data and we believe we can't hold people's data hostage," Lam said.
MobiSocial has written a developer platform (a Software Developer Kit, or SDK) for writing apps atop of Omlet that honor the high level of privacy in Omlet.
Much of the development work will be done in HTML 5, although Omlet developers had to write code separate from HTLML 5 to work with both Tizen and Android using the SDK, Lam said. "We standardize at the Web level, so it doesn't matter what the OS is."
"HTML 5 is too slow and inappropriate for writing browsers, but once we have done our work, it's easy to write apps with Omlet in HTML 5," she added.
Lam has lofty ambitions for MobiSocial, even though the long-term prospects of Omlet as a revenue generator are unclear. Part of her enthusiasm stems from working for 26 years as a university professor where effecting broad change is encouraged.
"We will change the world as we enable a lot of developers to write apps that honor privacy," she vowed.
Revenues could come from payments from smartphone makers that include Omlet natively on their phones, she suggested, but she wouldn't reveal any details.
"Companies will pay for added messaging services," she said. Omlet already works with the $99 Asus Zen, a 4-in. display Android smartphone running with an Intel processor released earlier this year. Lam wouldn't say if her company has derived any revenues from that deal.
Noting that Facebook announced its purchase of messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion in February, Lam said, "it is hard to say how much money we're worth."
Lam's hoping the privacy features of Omlet can have value to the public and especially to developers in an open system.
"We're going for broke now, but this is going to change how everybody shares and writes code," she said. "We are a university group and have spent a lot already, which sucks compared to where we could be. But we are changing everything."
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