Apple's Looking Glass

May 23 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: General   Rating: 4 Hot

In a paper released yesterday, AJ.P. Gownder and James L. McQuivey at Forrester predict that by 2013 Apple will become the hub of the digital home. They support this contention by imagining eight future Apple products including “wall-mountable digital picture frames with small high-definition screens and speakers that wirelessly play media”, “an Apple ‘clock radio’ that pipes in music and other media across a home network”, and “an ‘AppleSound’ universal remote control, also with a touch-sensitive screen, that lets users browse their music collections and change the songs playing through their stereo as they stroll around the house.”

I tend to concur with the rest of the blogosphere in that this is quite the tame list and that we’ll probably see significantly more advanced products from the likes of Apple circa 2013. With dropping component costs (hi-rez screens, processors, graphics cards, etc.), rising data transfer speeds (Internet2, a possible re-allocation of analog TV spectrum) new competition from proliferating design & interface companies, and the fact that most of these concepts already in prototype, I believe such products are more likely to hit mass-markets inside of 3 years rather than 5 long years away.

In particular I find the “wall-mountable digital picture frames” prediction a bit weak. If former Xerox PARC Director John Seely Brown is accurate in his estimation that Apple CEO Steve Jobs “is positioning himself to take over completely the living room,” then by 2013 I see the company developing radically cooler products such as a slick telepresence interface that future blogger Dick Pelletier expects by 2015 or before .

Being that such devices, albeit clunky and expensive versions, are already being sold by the likes of Cisco and VisBox, and that holographic and projection technologies could eliminate the expensive screen altogether, it’s unlikely that Steve Jobs and his crack team of agile researchers and designers haven’t yet realized the trumping value of rich multi-purpose, telepresence-enabling interfaces. (cont.)

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Sony's New Reader Marks Another Step Toward Hand-held Digital/Text Convergence

October 03 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: 2008   Rating: 3

The latest edition of Sony’s Reader, the PRS 700, marks another significant step forward in the race to replace traditional paper books with easy to use digital counterparts.

Sporting a six-inch interactive touch-screen display the new model allows readers to flip pages with the slide of a finger. In addition, readers can easily search terms within a document or book, create notes using the virtual keyboard and highlight text with the included stylus pen.

Five pre-set text sizes are available so readers can find the one most comfortable for them.

Expanded memory offers enough capacity to store about 350 average digital books. By using a removable memory stick, that number can be upped to thousands of books and documents.

The new PRS-700 will be available next month for about $400 just in time for a holiday shopping season that may not respond all to well to the relatively high price. At the same time, it appears to be the closest thing to a paper book killer to hit the market so far.

50 Million People Can Watch Web Video on their Home TVs as of Today - Jan 15, 2009

January 15 2009 / by Alvis Brigis
Category: Entertainment   Year: 2009   Rating: 2

Upwards of 50 million people have access to web video through their televisions today thanks to Google, Sony and Nintendo, who have collaborated to bring YouTube videos to the Wii (50 million units sold by March) and PS3 (12 million units sold) through a custom version of the popular site modified for larger home screens.

From the YouTube blog: Currently in beta, the TV Website offers a dynamic, lean-back, 10-foot television viewing experience through a streamlined interface that enables you to discover, watch and share YouTube videos on any TV screen with just a few quick clicks of TVs-315.jpgyour remote control. With enlarged text and simplified navigation, it makes watching YouTube on your TV as easy and intuitive as possible. Optional auto-play capability enables users to view related videos sequentially, emulating a traditional television experience. The TV Website is available internationally across 22 geographies and in over 12 languages.

Many bloggers, including this one, have been anticipating this moment for some time, speculating that 2009 will at last be the year of Web Video on TV.  Today's mostrous event clinches that moniker, making it extremely likely that by year's end upwards of 100 million game console viewers will have access to YouTube and other web video broadcast platforms through their traditional televisions.  (Simply factor in the XBox reaction and ongoing Wii and PS3 sales.)

Couple that with the explosion of TV units capable of playing online video and we could be looking at 150-200 million total devices, a future that Google is looking to accelerate:

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