According to a report by IMS Research, Android is going to be the most popular way to access your media in the home. It will be a kind of pass key, much like Qualcomm recently predicted in its speech on the “Internet of Things”.
Basically, as display analysts at Meko explained to us last year, each company in the devices sphere wants to control access to your screens. You have your smartphones, your tablet, your computer, your TV, and anything else that can access the internet or your media. IMS predicts Android is going to be the central hub for all of these things.
Reassuring then, that it will be lead by a company whose motto is don’t be evil. The definition of evil is up to whoever wants to shape it.
While Apple’s iPhone also wants to be this central hub – and is fighting tooth and nail to make sure the competition just goes away – Android manufacturers are quickly exploring something called the Digital Living Network Alliance, which sounds a bit like a Star Wars faction but is rather more mundane. Open standard media sharing, says IMS, is a key way to differentiate from the expensive trinkets Apple offers.
DLNA video is already part of the broadcast standards in Japan, points out IMS, while North America has seen providers adopt DLNA to bring about open multi room media systems.
In a statement, senior analyst at IMS Stephen Froehlich says DLNA servers are significant. “In these regions, the smartphone essentially becomes a personal ID key,” Froehlich says, “that unlocks a consumer’s access to his or her content library and then serves it to any DLNA video client in a home.”
The question is, what happens when we progress from sharing box sets of the Wire around the house to the very real possibility your fridge is going to be talking to your smartphone, which is talking to its GPS and your car, or even you, personally? Because this is the sort of bizarre technologically advanced future we are fast heading towards. Google’s lure of its open Android is weighty stuff, indeed.