802.11n + Tablet = ???
Okay, so we’ve been pondering this for a while, as anyone that reads the site regularly can attest…with full on HD streaming being done at a data rate of 20-50mbit/sec, what do you need 802.11n (and its 200-500mbit/sec rate) for?? And really, how often are you going to be streaming Blu-ray and HD-DVD content around the house (as if the MPAA/studios would ever allow us to do such things!)?? And lastly, just how many multi-gigabyte files do you move around on a daily basis? If you’re like us, not very many.
So, what to do with all that bandwidth? And if we’ve got a fancy Mac Pad on the horizon, to go with our 802.11n, how would that fit together? First, let’s rename the Mac Pad the iPad, just for the time being (go with us, this is exciting stuff)…hmm…maybe we could just stream something else to the iPad…turning it into an “all in one” computing device, like the iPod is an “all in one” media device…Imagine this future with us…
iPad ships at the end of this year or early part of next year for an insane price, say $499. But what comes with it is the “lite” Mac OS X that we’re already seeing on the iPhone…it has similar sorts of features, maybe just 1-2GB of flash memory for the OS and a few local apps, settings, etc…and minus the cellular functions of the iPhone too (maybe substituting some VOIP instead). Here is where it gets exciting…what are we going to stream to this thing, then? How about the ENTIRE interface from any Mac or PC on the network?? The iPad turns any computer on your network into a wireless touchscreen-enabled tablet!! How would one do this? We’ll tell you, after the jump!
By streaming the entire interface of that computer to the iPad, via all that tasty 802.11n bandwidth!! Simply launch iTunes on that computer, and your iPad can see it, “pair” with it, and you can do anything you can do on that computer on your iPad! As for what you could stream, we mean anything, as with 802.11n, you will have bandwidth to stream everything to iPad, including first person shooters and other games, full HD quality video, high end drafting and design applications, you name it!
Can you imagine designers and architects, scientists and doctors, and just regular ol’ business people, sitting in conference rooms with iPads hooked up to a fancy 8-core workstation back at the desk? What about home users, Mom sits on the couch with iPad reading the Sunday paper while Dad is in the kitchen using his iPad for reference on a new recipe he’s trying out? Junior is sitting on the floor playing Halo 3 (who says you need a games strategy, just sell interfaces to existing content!!) on his…
But wait, you say, isn’t that what Microsoft already tried, and failed at, with Mira? Why, yes, it is…but the thing is, their technology was ugly, had terrible hardware, flaky and unreliable, was crazy expensive (Mira devices basically cost $800-$1000 once they finally came out, and you had to have an XP PC, too), and was slower than doodoo because of 802.11b technology!!
More evidence…Apple Remote Desktop already showcases the technology exists, if not ARD, then VNC or any number of alternatives…heck, you could even do RDP on the Windows side if you were desperate…Apple has supported multiple, simultaneous logons to the Mac for many versions (Fast User Switching)…this would even drive more Mac sales, because with a Mac, you could support multiple simultaneous iPads, whereas with a PC, maybe you can only do one at a time! Also, imagine using the iPad as a second, or third, monitor with your existing machine! There’s no reason you couldn’t, and use it as a graphics tablet, too!!
Imagine the world where you can lay in bed with your iPad, listening to your iTunes library, chatting with your friends on iChat, editing up that footage from your family vacation, and reading Apple Recon all at the same time!! Imagine leaving your Mac Book in the bag back at the hotel room, and taking your iPad down by the pool for some afternoon reading!! 802.11n makes it possible, and this is EXACTLY the kind of innovation that Steve Jobs and Apple like to whip out and use to turn the whole industry on its head.
What do you think, are we smoking something? Sound off in the comments, and don’t forget to Digg us (it really helps our little site a lot if you can take the time to Digg it)!!