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Come together ... over me

Posted: 05.21.08
Common people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another - for a while… We’re getting closer to the dream, the vision, of ubiquity mutual connectivity in the home – and maybe beyond a bit. My vision, since 1999, has been that everything in the home will talk to everything in the home. Everything that can will be a server, and everything will be a client. Since 1999 I’ve had to modify my vision a bit, I’ve had to learn a strange new alphabet, B, A, C, U, and then N – what’s that all about? And I had to add handheld devices to the mix. But basically the dream is alive and getting closer everyday. Some folks thought (including me for a while) that we would have a master server in our homes, a data furnace if you will. But it soon became apparent that storage was becoming cheaper and moving in a curve steeper than Moore’s law. We also saw the explosion and proliferation of non-volatile memory in most machines and our pockets. And we saw the ever expanding, and ever faster, proliferation of network technology. Today’s media addict has at least one, and probably three handheld devices that he or she users as a player and also as a recorder or a storage device – an MP3 player, a mobile phone, and maybe a dedicated media player. All of them have a combination of tunes, photos, and videos on them. Stationary devices like STBs with HDDs, DVD players, PCs, and TVs have similar types of media either stored or streaming to through them; and semi-mobile devices like laptops do too. We have all kinds of alphabet laws and rules to get these things talking to each other DNLA, UPnP, BlueTooth, 801.11(a, b, c, n, etc.), Ethernet, USB, MPEG 2, 4, WMV AVI, Flash, H.264, and on and on. We got the stuff, with and without wires. We got the file formats, the display formats, and boy do we have the media, it’s coming out of our pores. But there are petty jealousies combined with downright stupidity. And so you can’t serve iTunes to your PC via Bluetooth, or Frustrated Housewives to your PSP from the TiVo, or show the pictures on your camera phone to anyone via your TV, yet. But we’re really, really close. In fact I’ll venture a guess that in two years or less this will not only be possible, but commonplace, and our kids will look at us like we’re from Mars when we tell them, “When I was your age…” So we may not be able to stop global warming, election campaigns, or roadside bombs, but we will see peace in our homes in our life time – I guranetee ya.