Media synergy with Smart phones

Today in procrastination, I was thinking about the information age we live in. An age where our smart phones are rapidly becoming the remote control to our lives, filling in the gap between exerting physical effort to turn the computer on and watching a movie or listening to music on the pc. Many applications are cropping up to control your pc across the three primary platforms (windows, OSX and linux). These days customers are more picky and more receptive to open source software, forcing companies to support more and more with their hardware. A propriety software-hardware view to capitalize on profits is beginning to be rejected by the end-user (like apple’s old view in western world domination). Technology is cheap, and a seamless hardware-software abstraction is the next level, integrating all tasks of life into one system that handles our information cravings and demands.

After that pre-lude I’d like to illustrate the protocols and options available to us currently. I am a linux user through and through, currently I have  multiple linux machines at my home, with three different media area’s (bedroom, living room, home cinema). All of them run boxee as a media server,  and all of them get their content over SMB to a centralized NAS. I can then control boxee in any of these locations with my android phone boxee remote app. I also have another vlc based media application   called Gmote, where the server runs on your pc and you can scroll, play, surf the net and access all your files from your phone, but also use it as a remote control for your computer. This system is a bit more stable  then the SMB based media sharing as it is over SSHFS, so data over the network is buffered with ample time to play. Boxee can be slow and over wireless drops packets now and then. So far we can use our  computers as a multimedia server with Boxee and Gmote, both in their own offering good user interaction from their smart phones, now we have Google’s internet TV coming out, which like android will have  apps, net surfing and full 1080p support. Whether you buy the Sony TV or the Logitech reveu, it basically adds computer functionally to your tv experience. Ok, so with a computer we can control most things, all you need to do is throw on a DTV tuner and presto, recoding, watching, browsing the web, listening to your music remotely is all at the hands of your smart phone, and with a WoLAN feature over wifi you can  even turn your pc on. Also when using  multiple media locations in the house you can uses logitechs squeeze center to access data and even for those party animals you can synchronize music at all media  locations, effectively turning your house into a night club (one cool feature).

Another cool feature you can do with smart phones now is home automation, using some protocol like X10 you can control the garage door, lights and any power devices connected to mains, including security  camera. In this modern day with embedded computers getting smaller, faster and cheaper there is no reason why our cars, houses, motorbikes, boats and even bicycles can’t be seamless accessed by our smart  phones, giving us the ultimate access to information. A day where we can simply access the status of our house and car remotely over the 3G network, where each major possess has a small $100 embedded  computer that has a web server with real time data displayed and past statistics calculated.

Anyway to get to my point, software is adapting to the technology becoming available, the next step is to integrate all this into one. Have APP markets that are multi platform compatible, be able to have all this information available by having only three simple systems in place.
1. A Ethernet and wifi based home network.
2. A smart phone.
3. Low powered PC’s at each media point, like a net-book that can handle 1080p with a digital TV tuner
Software for integration (smart phone side):
A multi-platform application that has the following features
– Wake on LAN
– full browsing capabilities to access and stream music for your home network over wifi, even read e-books stored on your nas on smart phone, or while mowing the lawn listen to music from your smart phone over the network (not stored on phone)
– Full remote for watching media and searching through to find that one episode of family guy
– Synchronization of the network to be able to stream the same song or the same movie at all  media location
– power off button to shut the system down remotely

Software for integration ( media point side)
– XMBC based media server UI, only with added features like enhanced network streaming options, Internet browsing capabilities, DTV recoding and cacheing and TV guide, perhaps a tivo style learning algorithm to recommend TV shows.
– APP market where you can download apps and games. Apps like X10 home automation, car and home statistics (like power consumption etc), security camera access
– Could be an online cloud for a social network to share what you are watching like boxee and even hire movies (like itunes is offering now)

So my point is complete synergy of all technology, allowing the control and visualization of our lives, constantly being informed with seamless access to Internet news, tv and personal files remotely.