I've had a soft spot for these "webpad" type devices for a while now, because I want to sit on the couch and surf the Goldberg file in style. Sony may just be getting it right with the just-announced Airboard. This thing is a portable LCD with a touchscreen, and it can act as a TV, a web browser, and a remote control unit all at once. Of course, Sony wants to tie it all together:
The device is designed as a sort of all-in-one remote control and Internet appliance and fits into Sony's strategy of creating a networked home full of Sony computers, stereos, DVD players and televisions, which can talk to each other and share information via wireless Internet connections or through Sony's portable Memory Stick.Now, if only someone would build one of these webpad things with zero brains, a touchscreen, and the ability to control a desktop PC remotely...
Sony, which calls its vision "AV/IT Convergence," for the intersection of audio-video products and information technology, is focusing on a number of gateway products, which will anchor the entire strategy.
These gateways include the PlayStation2 game console, the Clie personal digital assistant based on the Palm operating system, the Vaio line of PCs, and now the Airboard.
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