While sitting with a friend contemplating what is really needed in the market, we tried to figure out if there is a home gateway device that needs to be created. After all, we have so many areas converging in the home.
- The TV set is getting speech recognition and has a computer inside to support Skype (News - Alert) and personal video recording solutions.
- The thermostat and the meter want to adjust our heat and electric use.
- Our large appliances want to give us tech support and repair without us calling someone.
- The car in the garage is going to have enough battery life to power our nightlife and be restored in the morning.
- Our phones, tablets and desktops will be able to network seamlessly on our WiFi network.
With all of these solutions, the question is what will be the unifying force?
Now, Apple (News - Alert) would like to take that spot. If you go into the Apple store you will find a weight scale, some medical support and some garage band equipment (independent of the software of the same name). In short they will look like the common ground, however, that would not make a lot of sense when the logical place to manage these things is the browser.
Similar to the days when Port 80 transversed VoIP, we are again at a point where disparate systems will probably continue being developed that need help. And the help has arrived with HTML5.
Phones, tablets, TVs or legacy laptops/desktops can all reach a Web page, right?
So at the end of the day will every device need an embedded Web server, or just the ability to be addressable on the net?
If IPv6 were fully deployed, I believe the Web server would be redundant. However, given the state of the industrial deployment and the situation we have with home solutions, I expect we will see a lot of Web servers in the home.
Which brings us back to the question of should we expect a universal device to converge the home? The answer we came up with is no. However, building cheap embedded systems probably entirely of flash memory and figuring out a lightweight Web server might be the smartest businesses to create.
Edited by Stefanie Mosca