Connected Home is Evolving- CONNECTIONS ’09- DECE
The connected home seems like some future world but it’s here today. What is the “connected home?” It’s when you can watch TV programs, your own videos, online videos, share your photos and music throughout your whole house on all of your TVs and computers. They call it the “digital home,” “whole home entertainment,” and it sometimes includes “home control” (turning on your lights, closing your shades, setting your thermostat and much more).
There is a conference for those who are creating the guts of the connected home – the software designers who create the menus, the hardware engineers who create the computer chips (“processors”), content providers (movie studios, Yahoo, YouTube, etc) and sometimes those who create the actual devices we will use (TiVo, Popcorn Hour).
CONNECTIONS, put on for more years than one would even know we could connect our home, brings together these innovators and inventors to put together companies like COMCAST and LOGITECH who are trying to see what’s next and what’s available to offer us that will make our lives easier or more fun.
Much of the talk this year was about Online Video watching – Where will we get out TV programs? How the Cable companies can compete. There were panels on how we will connect the connected home. Will it be wireless or by converting our electrical outlets to be whole home wiring or will you use your existing coaxial wiring that was probably put in by your cable company?
There was also a talk from Sony Digital Entertainment where Mitch Singer discussed DECE (I’ll explain it in a later blog). But imagine that we don’t buy DVDs or Blu-rays, or CDs. Instead there is a place online where all our media is stored. We go into a store and buy a license for a movie or music. The retailer punches it into a computer and we can go home and download it (or stream it) to any of our registered devices. This means we don’t have to use up lots of hard drive storage space (no more 750 gigabyte storage drives) on our computers. This means that we can watch movies or listen to music on our portable players AND on devices in each room in our home (we could even share it with our college student away from home). This is in very beginning stages but, I for one like the idea of decluttering my home of all my DVD and CD racks. Again more later.
Because these were the innovators, designers, engineers, this conference gets very geeky and technical. My brain turns to mush trying to translate the techno babble after a few hours. But it’s exciting stuff for the future, and I’ll try to share more as I can.