Future services

Following my last post, I've been thinking what my current "future service" would look like. I say current, because I don't think it's possible to imagine what things will be like more than a few years out at the moment -- too much change going on.

Partially, I'm influenced by a new toy a friend and I were playing around with at the weekend. Stu works for Sandman. Basically if you have lots of money to spend and want a seriously cool audio or video solution - call Stu. He was playing with a Linux box that's hardwired with a TV card and a DVD drive. Basically a home theatre in a single box. It had a wopping great hard drive in it and he'd loaded all his CDs and DVDs into it. We plugged it into my Sky decoder and LCD monitor and away we went. Pretty cool, but a bit hard to use and a pain to load all that content onto.

Fundamentally, what I want is a one-stop shop for everything. Here's my storyboard ...

The first thing, is that it all just works. Everything is seamless. I don't know how it works (ok, being me I probably do, but I don't have to know unless I want to). When someone rings me, my phone rings. My phone is just a handset. It uses a mobile network if I'm out and about and bluetooth's (or whatever the flavour of the day is) off my fixed line at home if I'm at home. It's a personal phone and work phone with different rings. It does interesting stuff like automatically sends work calls to voicemail after hours so my weekends don't get interrupted unless I want them to.

I have a box in my house. It's where all the clever stuff happens. It's where everything comes into the house -- my internet, TV, stereo and phone all plug into this box. It manages my bandwidth requirements. But I dont' pay for bandwidth any more because I managed to get a fibre feed into my house by convincing all my neighbours that it was a good idea/

My house is "wired" so in any room I can access any service if I want to. I can surf the web or watch a movie in any room with the appropriate device. I have speakers in the ceiling, a big screen in the lounge, a small one in my bedroom. All my components might be different but they have standard cables/plugs. When my daughters can afford their own TV, they can have one in their room and can watch stuff separately from me - if they pay for it.

When I have friends over and I want to put some music on, I just punch a few buttons and get a selection. I don't have to load CDs. I don't have to worry about where to store all my old CDs, videos and DVDs anymore either. Storage is no longer an issue.

I'll almost certainly still have a PC in my office, but I can run all this from anywhere in the house.

I pay a fee to some provider for this access. I might pay other providers for other services (but probably not because I get a discount if I stay with one provider). I am in control.

There must be more. I'm sure I can make it cooler than this. I'll keep thinking.


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