The Future of Computing is Remote-Controlling Everything

Kevin Rose, of Digg fame, wrote a blog post yesterday about the upcoming revolution of the TV. A sentiment that I of course agree with. However, trying to think one step ahead, it makes sense to envision that the next big device that will get “smart,” is the car. And when this happens soon, everything else will follow.So, I personally believe that within 10 years time, every major electronic device will run a smart OS. Most of these devices would be interconnected on the home network, and they will expose special info that your main controlling device, e.g. a tablet, or a smartphone, will “understand” and build a GUI for it, on the fly. The electronics needed for it would be cheap.

So if you want to reduce the temperature of your fridge, or turn on your oven so food will be ready by the time you get home (obviously not a safe idea, but it could be done), or turn off the lights on your home, turn on your Roomba, program these disco lights, move your hi-fi’s audio output from room to room as you walk by, shoot that video from your digicam strapped on your tripod by using your tablet as its preview device, or open the garage door for your returning-from-shopping wife who forgot the keys, you could do that, all from the other side of the planet if necessary.

By that time, running a base smart OS with some wireless abilities, will be cheap. Right now, some such home-automation solutions exist, but they are pretty expensive, not as extensive in terms of device support, and they require special software on the client. Obviously, we could do better than that. We could extend support to every device, and make this “data translation” a standard.

Going a step further, I like to imagine this base OS to be the same for all devices. Be it Android or (an open version of) iOS, I think it would be beneficial for everyone to run the same OS. This way, firmware updates could be easier, since there would be active development of the base OS.

Some people might not see the benefit of it all, they might even find the whole thing silly. “Why the heck would I want my fridge to by smart?”, they’d say. However, I’m pretty sure that if you could transport someone from 1950 in 1980, he would also find silly 1980’s TV remote controls. “Move your a$$ and change the channel manually”, he’d think. “I can’t believe how lazy people have become in 1980”, he’d continue. But truth is, automation and remote controlling your assets is one of these things that need to be experienced before people can’t live without them.


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