As the years have passed, many of the ideas that I felt were obvious before they existed (the Web, e-mail for everyone, content management systems, networked attached storage devices, iPhone, etc.) have become commonplace. So what is it that I think needs to exist today? What bugs me about the digital world today?
Well, one of the things that bugs me is that we are still living in a very primitive world as far as access to the Internet goes. Why can’t I send an e-mail message to a place (e.g. who’s at the Studio-X labs…is anything planned for today?) Why can’t I see the headlines from the newspaper without opening my laptop? How about streaming a podcast?
If the AppleTV wants to be a modern day VHS player, I want a modern day kitchen radio. The Internet of Things isn’t just going to consist of pigeons that blog your car ratting on you about the driving conditions its been driven under or refrigerators talking to toasters, it’s also going to have to involve a lot more ways of accessing content that we’re traditionally accustomed to getting on the PC. The iPhone, but even more importantly, the iPod Touch, are steps in that direction.
And now there’s Chumby, which goes a good deal further as an information appliance. I’m not so convinced about the styling of the device or the interface. I’m not even sure that Chumby has got it right enough to succeed. After all, before the iPhone was the Treo and before Treo was Kyocera and before Kyocera Smartphone was Qualcomm. But I am sure that soon enough someone will figure, even if it takes a half decade.