18 February 2007

Sunday Brunch

Why isn't there more internet based remote control?

9 comments:

erp said...

Okay, I'll bite. Internet remote control? What is it?

Duck said...

The mouse is the remote control.

Many years ago I subscribed to Wired magazine, and one month they sent me this hokey device that they wanted me to hook up to my computer and use while I browsed the magazine. If I saw some cool piece of technology I was supposed to scan it with the device and a web-page by the device's manufacturer would pop up in my browser. Someone at the magazine must have thought that was a cool melding of paper and online technologies, but I wasn't going to be bothered to read the magazine while I was logged online. I'll either read paper or I'll browse photons. There's no need or desire to marry the two.

I think the device died one of the quickest deaths that any technology has ever died.

Oroborous said...

Maybe because there aren't that many things people want to control when they're not at home ?

Susan's Husband said...

There is a lot of it. You can buy kits to remote control every electrical device in your house, you can buy software use the desktop of every computer in your house. What more could there be?

David said...

But there's been no successful "killer app." I could, if I wanted, control my Tivo over the internet, but it's kludgy and not all that useful. On the other hand, I've got a wi-fi network that's severely under used.

joe shropshire said...

What Oro said. Think about all the things in your house that either regulate themselves (heating and air conditioning, refrigeration) and/or which don't make sense to control remotely (lights, running water), or get done more or less the same way every day so you can just put them on a timer (coffee maker.) Unless your idea of fun is turning the lights on and off so you can watch it on your web cam, there's not a lot of point.

Susan's Husband said...

Ah, so the question "why don't people use internet remote control?".

You answered that question yourself, it requires too much geekitude to make it work, even though it's all off the shelf technology.

As other noted, there's just not that much stuff one wants to control. Now monitoring, that might be a better place to go (did I turn off the stove? Is the garage door closed? Is the heat still on?). But I suspect that people who care enough about just go straight to one of the home monitoring companies who will give you a call if something unusual happens.

David said...

That's all part of it, but leaving aside control from outside the house, why not use wi-fi for remote control inside the house?

Also, I might not mind being able to monitor/control my oven from outside the house if it would let me monitor my kids starting dinner, for example.

Susan's Husband said...

Parents might rationally be scared of the idea that, given such remote control capabilities, their children will rapidly acquire greater control over it than the parents.

I also think it's one of those things that everyone says would be nice, but few would actually pay enough for to make it worth selling. If you want to make some money, however, I would work on integrating it with the home theater technology before the home computer.