Well, weâ€™re now into the second month of 2008 and Iâ€™ve set a few resolutions for this year. The first is to set more time away to spend with my gadgets (everything from the Xbox 360 to my new mobile phone) and the second is to make sure Iâ€™m even more aware of the changes that this coming year will bring in technology.
One of the big changes (if you have the cash to spend) is in the technology now avialble in the home. Letâ€™s take a look at some of the stunning new gadgets you could implement this year.
Things have moved on from the home network hard disk drive. So much so, that home servers are now available for a very reasonable price. These networked devices can hold huge amounts of data and are now available with build in media players that can be plugged into televisions directly allowing plug â€˜n play functionality. Content can then be viewed across the network on other machines or even across the Internet.
As part of this functionality, if youâ€™re setting up wireless in your home you may find all of the various standards across different platforms confusing at times. The DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) is trying to change that and standardise protocols so future technology will talk to other devices, regardless of who made it. This could see a Sony camera being able to transfer images wirelessly direct to a Hewlett Packard printer for instance.
Big televisions are of course great and new ones are something that I recently covered in my CES article, but what about the realm of something even bigger? Iâ€™m talking of course about projectors.
These devices have long since moved into the digital arena but now weâ€™re talking about wirelessly picking up the signal and being able to display a 60 inch image from less than a meter away from the wall. Of course, the only real issue with these now then is making sure one has a house big enough to really take advantage of just such a device.
Speaking of wireless, apparently even photo frames are following the trend â€“ able to stream images from the nearest networked PC and others that had NFC (near field communication) technology. Whilst I always like the idea of pushing the boundaries, Iâ€™m wondering why you wouldnâ€™t just USB the frame to your computer and upload it? Then again, NFC will allow you to send an image directly from your mobile straight away.
So, whatâ€™s going to really change your digital future in the home? Well, for a long time thereâ€™s been talk of a fridge that can scan the contents and automatically wirelessly add things to your shopping list when they run low. Donâ€™t get me wrong, I like the idea of all of this technology, but is that sort of thing really life-enriching? I have a feeling that if Iâ€™m too busy to look in the fridge to see whatâ€™s actually there Iâ€™m getting dangerously close to being too busy to eat.
What about you? Is there something that youâ€™re longing to buy that is a wonderful new addition to your gadget-life at home? I think for me it has to be a hard drive recorder. There are quite a few things that I miss for one reason or another and to be able to have all the content saved to watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon sounds a bit special. Certainly better than a wireless toaster thatâ€™s for sure!