News

CONNECTED DEVICES, OR MORE OUTLETS?

10/04/2010 4:57 AM Eastern

THIS WEEK’S TRANSLATION LOOKS INTO THE STATE OF THE STATE OF “CONnected
devices,” meaning things in your life that want an Internet
connection: PCs, of course, and smart phones, e-readers
and iPads.

Pretty soon, lots of TVs, too: By next year, it will be difficult
to purchase an HDTV that doesn’t come with an Ethernet or
Wi-Fi link. Ditto for the expected onslaught of iPad-like tablets,
plumbed with Android.

To get a better sense of scope, I put out a Facebook post
last week with this request: “OK, fellow geeks, time for this
query again: How many IP devices in your home right now,
per room?”

At press time, 57 responses had piled up a cornucopia of
gadgetry.

The winner, for total number of gadgets, screens and overall
IP stuff in his house: Steve R., with 33.

His count: Three Wi-Fi cell phones, four laptops, two
desktop PCs, two MoCA adapters, a voice-over-Internet
protocol adapter, an alarm system, a router and a cable
modem. Two dual-port NAS (network attached storage)
servers, a GigE (Gigabit Ethernet) switch, a Linux server,
a PlayStation 2, a Nintendo Wii video-game console. Two
Blu-ray Disc players, a Netgear video player and a set-top
with an Ethernet (thus IP) port.

“So,” he wrote, “at least 33 MAC addresses, capable of IP.”
(For the observant who noticed the number discrepancy
— some of his connected devices have more than one IP address.)

As far connected devices per room, Steve R.’s count is
about six per (not including bathrooms, he noted).
Yes, that’s a lot. But Steve’s a technologist and early
adopter. His world is a reasonable portent of where things
are going.

Here’s a sampling of other IP-thirsty gadgets listed: Digital
picture frames. Webcams. Network printers. Game consoles,
like the Xbox, PlayStation and Wii. Netbooks. Externallyconnected
over-the-top video players, like Roku and Apple
TV. Advanced set-tops, meaning those with a built-in DOCSIS
modem.

The oddest connectible device listed: A “squeezebox,”
posted by Mark F. Turns out he didn’t mean an accordion
with an Internet connection; it’s a networked music player
made by Logitech.

The most amusing post came from Bill M., who wondered
if the ID chip inside his dog counted. (It doesn’t, Bill.)

On average, most people had a total of 10 connectable
devices in their home, and roughly two per room.

The good news is, all of those connected devices are
getting Internet from somewhere, right?

Chances are high that in the home, it’s that cable-modem
connection.

And for that reason, this glut of connected devices is
starting to feel a lot like what we used to call “additional
outlets.”

March