Friday, May 29, 2009

It would be fantastic if Apple made one of these...

I was reading Scott Adams blog (Dilbert creator) recently and he outlined a wish for a new type of central computer for your home that handles all of your entertainment, home controller, and computing needs.

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who would like one of these. I looked into this months ago and couldn't find anything that fit the bill either. Lots of pieces of the puzzle but no complete solution.

From his blog:

Before you rush to tell me "That already exists," and then provide links to things that only do a few functions, let me assure you that it doesn't exist. But there is no reason to think it won't be developed in the future.

I came to this conclusion while searching for a home system that would deliver recorded TV shows and music (iTunes) to several rooms in the house, with each room controlling its own content. I was surprised to learn that no such thing exists.

It would be nice if this hypothetical system also controlled my lights and video games and security and heat and AC. I'd love it if all of my entertainment content could be downloaded from the Internet. And it should be networked with my home computers and automatically back itself up over the network. That would be spiffy.

The closest thing on the market is a so-called home media center that will distribute movies, music, and your own content to multiple rooms. It's not yet integrated with a whole home DVR to handle all of your normal television viewing. It doesn't handle lights, video games, security, heat, AC, or home computing. And it doesn't back itself up over the Internet. Plus it is crazy expensive. So there's a long way to go.

I particularly like his idea for handling disaster recovery of all your media etc.

As an aside, the system would only need to back up a database of what movies, music, and video games you own, and not the actual content. If you ever needed to do a recovery, your record of ownership would allow you to download the content again for free.

This sounds like a job (no pun intended!) for Apple. Do for home servers what they did for music and phones.

ZeroTouch IT Ltd