World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) HTML 5 is the wave of the future even though it is still a work in progress. It is designed to replace the HTML 4.01 standard although HTML 5 is backwards compatible. HTML 4 and its earlier incarnations were extended using JavaScript and a host of plugins including Adobe's Flash to provide interactive and multimedia presentations. HTML 5 specification is designed to bring all of that functionality into a single, unified platform.

HTML 5 is important to embedded developers because HTML 5-capable devices like smartphones and tablets will be the norm for controlling embedded devices. The ability to deliver a portion of an embedded device's control program via HTML 5 will allow embedded developers more flexibility.

HTML 5 can also utilize other standards such as W3C's CSS3 (cascading style sheets). For multimedia presentation, the Khronos Group has defined WebGL (Web-based Graphics Library). WebGL extends JavaScript allowing access to 3D graphics hardware. This is something that could only be done requiring special plugins with HTML 4.