Online media distribution is hot. With the success of services like Amazon unbox and the iTunes Store, BitTorrent Inc can’t stay behind. So, within a couple of months BitTorrent will launch a video download store as well. And this is just the beginning.
2006 is the year of the rising online TV and Movie distribution. The success of these services will probably not be unnoticed, and it will inspire hardware producers to come up with innovative gadgets. In 2007 I expect to see more and more BitTorrent, and Video store compatible hardware.
Earlier this year Asus introduced a BitTorrent compatible wireless router. The WL-700gE router has a built in hard dive, and allows you to download your favorite torrents, even when your pc is switched off. I happen to be one of the proud owners of the WL-700gE, and as said before, the BitTorrent support of this router is still very buggy. I wouldn’t recommend buying the router solely for its BitTorrent support, but these recent developments are a sign that hardware manufacturers are interested in peer-to-peer technology and online media distribution.
This interest is confirmed by Ashwin Navin, president and co-founder of BitTorrent. Earlier this week he told IDG News Service in an interview:
We’re also working with hardware makers to embed our technology into their hardware and then hook it into a service that people can use to get content. I’m in Taiwan to talk about partnerships with hardware makers.
Asus made an announcement on a hardware device that supports BitTorrent, a non-PC platform device made for downloads, and we expect to have many more similar arrangements with hardware companies in Taiwan and elsewhere. Hardware that supports BitTorrent protocol, obviously, can hook into our service, and people who consume it can tap into it even away from their PC.
So what can we expect from companies like Asus in the future?
The possibilities are endless. Last year a Dutch company introduced the Lamabox. The “Lamabox” was introduced as the the worlds first “p2p compliant” media player. The Lamabox is connected to all the popular p2p networks (including BitTorrent) so you’re able to search and download whatever you want directly onto it’s built in harddrive. Once the download is complete, you can watch it on your TV, or burn it onto a DVD.
There are no official announcements yet, but I bet Apple is working on an iWatch device as we speak. The iWatch is a small wireless device you can plug into your TV. The device comes with a tiny (but stylish) remote and allows you to browse through Apple’s iTunes Store on your TV. If you see a TV-show or Movie that you like, just push the “buy” button, and it starts downloading right away. Of course the iWatch device can be connected to your iPod and MacBook, allowing you to transfer files between these devices without any problems.
Let’s see what the future brings…