14 October, 2006

the future of smarthouses

Now I wish I had the technical & business skills to be able to approach someone for Venture Capital. I have this kickass idea, that one day we are all going to be going "Why didn't I think of that!" .. and as I have no chance of getting the cash together, I am gonna write it up here and look back in ten years..

Its all about computers / smartphones / internet / networks and our homes.

Basically at the moment we have one, maybe two or three, computers hooked up at home connected to the t'interweb. Each of these computers have there own internal harddrives, and all require significant power to keep running. They all require a degree of knowledge to operate, so if something goes wrong, you have a rough idea of what to do. If something goes drastically wrong, then you have to start again, or pay a significant amount to you local computer store to get things working again.

So whats the most important thing on your computer? Its the data. Everything else is covered by insurance, but you can't replace the data. Its like if your house burns down, you can't replace your pictures can you? The future of computing resides in backup. Not just in one place either.

Home Servers. Fireproof/thiefproof and totally secure. Nothing is totally secure, so the data will be backed up offsite. So, if you are going to have a home server, why bother with PCs. Why not have virtual machines.

VMWare are a company that have seen profits rise by 60% each year (can't remember where I read that) and its helped by Dual Core chips.. or quad core .. or n-core.. On a server you load a copy of the operating system, and all the software you are going to require. From there you run out to Thin Clients (TC) and they show and allow you to operate all of your applications, on a cheap computer. Yes, thats right cheaper computers.

For those users whose computing requirements are office/email/internet/music/films/photos, a TC will be fine. Even if you want to create images, or write programs, as long as you add some more memory, it should work no problems. And thats with todays TC machines. You can attach a TC to the back of a flat screen monitor, attach some USB ports for Keyboards/mouse etc, and a a decent networking connection, and there you go all set up. How much money will this save you? Less money on the machine in the first place, and even less energy costs.

Each user authenticates with a fingerprint, and they get logged in to there profile. This is stored on the house server, and backup up remotely. Oh did I mention your mobile use? You use a smartphone. It logs into your profile, and with WiFi you can make calls, or browse the net, write some IMs or emails, do some work. It will be that simple.

With IPTV not long away now from being everywhere, we are soon going to have all entertainment on a screen near by. Oh and another thing, you will be able to control the house. Dim the lights, turn on the washing machine, set the cleaning robot on its way, CCTV when you are away, all these things..

What do you think? The best way for this is the ISPs create a service, where they set it up and lend you basic equipment for free. You want something better, then pay for it yourself! You will have a service plan, and a Technician can be at your house in four hours to fix things, or they may be able to do this remotely. This obviously needs some kickass company to be able to get these things together, but I have heard that the Freebox in France, is going in this direction. Perhaps my favourite company, Google can make a google box, and get it installed where ever there is a monitor in your house...

anyway like I said, its only an idea!!


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