The title says it all: Is industry a late adopter? As far as the eye can see there are new technologies evolving and reaching out to us, but are the manufacturers of the equipment we use holding us back?
The PlayStation 3 a example of how it should be in my opinion – I’m talking about Bluetooth. Since the day a remote controlled television was built, they’ve been using Infrared for the control. Infrared has it’s inherent issues – Mainly line of sight. Bluetooth is the perfect candidate for remote control operations – 10m range for Class I devices an no line of sight issues as with IR.
Many people have been slating Sony for using Bluetooth as the means for remote control if you want to buy the Bluray DVD remote control, however I think they are poineering. The need for TV’s, DVD Players and all home AV equipment to stop using IR and to switch to Bluetooth is long overdue. Sony Ericsson have been producing a could be said gimmick Bluetooth remote control car for several years now, so now long will it be before a real use for this technology arrives.
The other issue with IR is that devices are based on a series of codes which means if you want to configure a universal remote to control all of your home devices you need to traul through the series of different codes used by each manufacturer and then there is no certainty that the code list you have is that used on your new high tech device. Bluetooth on the other hand issues a set of instructions to the device attempting to pair with it, telling the device which services and features are available to it.
With this is mind, surely it would be possible for the remote control trying to pair with the TV set would recieve a list of supported services from the TV and only offer the available buttons and setup the remote automatically without any of this farting about.
I can certainlly see this happening in the future, but the question will be how long.
Another thing I found interesting on this subject was an article on Bluray Revision 2.0 on CNet today. It mentions that this version of the Bluray technology would allow the devices to use a Java VM to display active content much the same as shown on webpages using Java. The report states that currently there are no devices on the market using this 2.0 revision of Bluray – Not suprising being that companies don’t like to spend a penny more than required, but this just again goes to prove the point that the industries are holding us back.
Look at the so called interactive DVD’s on the market where you answer questions for example? Are they rubbish or what – A simple case of pressing 1 through to 4 according to the answer or if your lucky you might get to watch a video or listen to some sound. Think now of how good these products could be if they where to be able to access Java and display Java Applets to give you full interactivity as found online?
With the recent death of HD-DVD this may help with the development of new products as there is no longer two technologies working against each other but lots of companies working to one common goal, but at the same time this could have killed the competitive edge in the market because HD-DVD and Bluray are no longer battling for the consumers hard earnt cash.
With the world of mobile phones also evolving as rapidly as it is, there are smart phones using Windows Mobile operating system technologies, and also more mainstream operating systems like Symbian all of which are found on devices where you are almost certain to also find Bluetooth. Could these advanced mobile devices render the remote totally useless? Windows Mobile uses C++ and .NET Framework Compact Edition coding langauges for it’s applications. There are many applications on the market for using your WM device for IR remote control, to name one a product called Nevo, however many devices on the market now are starting to not include the dying breed that is IR, and only the Bluetooth technology. I can personally see remotes becoming extinct iwith the advent of Bluetooth operated home AV equipment and people being able to install software on their mobile device and use this as a means of controlling the home equipment.
Only time will tell I suppose, but it’s all food for thought!