Jenny continues the conversation on next gen devices and PCs. I stretched my mind a little more on this topic. The fight is clearly between three hardware platforms: PCs, phones, and TVs. Everything else is peripheral. Only PCs are getting the full benefit of doubling rates in processor power and storage capacity. Here is how I think the battle will evolve in the next five to ten years:
1) A home server. This PC is always on and lives in a closet. It serves multiple users that connect to it using mobile wireless screens and keyboards. Everyone in the house has a profile. It controls all the devices in the home (consumer electronics to standard household items). It is the point of aggregation for content subscriptions and serves as a hub for mobile devices operated by household members that connect to it from outside the home. This server will slowly suck in the functionality of TVs, TiVos, and most consumer electronics.
2) An extremely mobile PC ala OQO. This PC will be attached to a single individual. It will have almost as much capacity as a standard PC (it won't be dumbed down). This mobile PC will have terabytes of storage and 10 GHz processors. It will have extensive battery life (20 plus hours). It can and will connect with services provided by the home server (personal data and content — also webservice enabled syncrhonization). It can be plugged into keyboards, display devices, and laptop shells. A simple touchscreen will allow access to data will disconnected from richer input/output devices (output will be enhanced by video enabled glasses — which are rapidly dropping price) It will connect to wireless networks. This device will slowly begin to suck in the functionality of cameras (both still and video), phones, and GPS devices. Over time, this device will act as a means of interacting with “smart” environments that include embedded information (it will bridge the APIs for these environments and personalize the delivery of the embedded information). [John Robb's Radio Weblog]