JoeBorn writes: One of the little discussed factors in the Apple v Android debate is the accessory ecosystem. Apple has fostered a robust ecosystem with a set of standards, a "MFi" verification program and reference designs. The Android ecosystem has little of that, but also none of the restrictions that go with it, this puts more work on the startups that want to get into the Android accessory space, but also gives them more freedom to innovate. HALE devices has created an alarm dock that includes an integrated Do Not Disturb feature, based on their own set of standards. Is this an area that hurts or helps Android?
JoeBorn writes: "Android's lack of a universal connector (like Apple's 30 pin) has meant a dirth of peripherals. Sonr labs has released source code and a reference design that's been used to create a speaker dock and advanced remote control (using the headphone jack as a modem) which allows interactivity with Internet music from the couch, dining room table, etc."
JoeBorn writes: Neuros CEO has a posting discussing why electronics has been such a tough go for so many US small companies over the last couple decades, and why Android represents a potential economic tipping point that goes far beyond cell phones or the obvious significance of the technology itself. In the posting, he makes the case that Android has the potential to be an economic catalyst for garage hardware startups, similar in impact to the IBM PC of 30 years ago.
JoeBorn writes: Neuros has a blog posting discussing how they created their latest "thin" HTPC to be nearly silent. Instead of using a net-top architecture (atom or the like) they used a full 2.7GHz CPU and put this effort into making that nearly silent. The article talks about their efforts on fan selection, placement, control and vibration dampening. This route was chosen to "give more headroom" for CPU hungry apps (web and otherwise) including adobe flash. The solution costs $279, Is this an appropriate tradeoff for a device powering your TV?
JoeBorn writes: "Google has started to close down access to their YouTube API for some 3rd parties. The process and decision criterion are non-public and reportedly based on ability to pay for advertising. Having a big company like Google arbitrarily picking winners and losers up front is sure to have a chilling effect on innovation in the space, and should make users question the trust they've vested in the company founded on "doing no evil""
JoeBorn writes: "Neuros has published its first round of bounties for its new Ubuntu powered set-top device, the LINK. The bounties are largely Ubuntu tweaking on the Neuros hardware, which is pretty standard x86 components. Ownership of the device isn't necessary for completing the bounties, although it's a help for some of them."
JoeBorn writes: "Neuros is offering a limited quantity Gamma Launch today. The Neuros LINK, combined with the free Neuros.TV service, is designed to bring Internet TV to the TV. It's a device designed to not only play downloaded content, but connect directly to video sites like Hulu.com, etc. It makes generous use of open source software from mplayer to a mozilla based browser. The Neuros.TV service aggregates video content from around the net and is intended to support user collaboration too. Like most Neuros products the device is very open and hackable. Information can be found at www.neuros.tv. Community information and a handful of screen shots are here. General product information at www.neuros.tv"
JoeBorn writes: "Neuros has a new technology that will superimpose real time chat (from http://narration.neuros.tv/) onto TV sets with the Neuros hardware. The inaugural event is the upcoming US presidential debate. You can see the debate online and participate without the hardware, and Neuros may even post the logs as subtitle text for those downloading the video. Neuros posted a simulation using the technology during the state of the union address on YouTube.
It's an experiment to see if real time commentary enhances the viewing of shows and events, it certainly has the potential to go either way."
JoeBorn writes: "Few technologies have been invented and re-invented more, seemingly just to prove no one wants it that the web on the TV. This time, its being demonstrated by Neuros as a way to get Web 2.0 content integrated into TV browsing. Does it make any difference or is TV web just a dog anyway you slice it?"
JoeBorn writes: "Community internet radio site last.fm is coming to the Neuros OSD. A last.fm community member, sponsored by Google, has ported the
feature/service to the Neuros OSD, so that users can use the last.fm service outside of their PCs.
open source allows the service to be tightly integrated with the main application and integrated with the other apps (and thus able to fetch music videos from youtube and access the local music collection). In contrast, Pandora on the iPhone is a stand alone application, isolated from the local music library etc. Does this give open source a real advantage on devices or is an API to a closed system just fine?"
JoeBorn writes: "Neuros is showcasing a hack to their 'OSD' device that was created at a BBC sponsored event, that allows a couple lines of IRC chat to be overlaid on top of a tv show. The experience is open commentary on any tv show or event. There's a video demo showing what it might be like using the State of the Union address as the event. The idea is that a viewer might ultimately have multiple channels to choose from, some open chat with friends, some professional commentary. It's an interesting view into what's at least one person's idea of the future of TV."
JoeBorn writes: "VideoLAN has long been known as a mature open source project for video playback and transcoding on the PC. Now, Neuros and Texas Instruments have sponsored a port of VLC to their next generation open set-top box. The idea is to allow developers to easily create interesting plug-ins for recording and transcoding applications for the set-top box which will automate functions previously requiring a PC, like formating recordings for a portable player or streaming to another device on the lan or the internet, etc."
JoeBorn writes: "Texas Instruments has joined forces with Neuros Technology, an open-source video device manufacturer, to promote development of an open-source software platform for video hardware and set-top boxes. This platform, which will enable HD playback and recording, will open up the television as a development target and give community and third-party developers the ability to build applications for the TV. The bounty program will be paying cash to developers who implement specific features, and reflects an increased interest from TI in building ties with the open source software community on top of its hardware components. Are community-focused bounties an effective way to introduce large, traditionally closed companies to the open source community?"
JoeBorn writes: "The Sunday New York Times has an article on Neuros and describes the benefits of open source hardware to its mainstream readership. Can a mainstream audience appreciate that hackability can translate into new features or will it all just seem too geeky? In this case, the Neuros OSD got a YouTube browser and she also attributes a windsurfing rigg to it being open source. While the details might be lost on the average reader, are they getting the sense that some companies allow users to benefit from other users modifications while others are actively bricking products for applying 3rd party apps? In other words, is openness starting to add value to the brands that support it?"