The people at Microsoft certainly like the sound of it. New gadgets like CasaTools’ “CasaTunes” illustrate the possibilities and suggest a growing trend. But will we see a fully automated home controlled through Windows SideShow Gadgets?
There was a flurry of reporting on CasaTunes last week. The Windows SideShow-supported whole home audio distribution gadget from CasaTools created a bit of a buzz, which has to be welcomed news to Microsoft, whose Vista OS hasn’t exactly sold like hotcakes (or Windows XP).
For those who don’t know, A SideShow gadget is basically a Windows Vista mini-program that can feed information from your computer to other devices, like a remote control or mobile phone. Using such a Windows Sideshow-compatible device, users can access information on, say, their Windows Vista media center PC, even if that PC is off or in a sleep state. It’s a way of empowering the low-budget remote control to access and control content on a PC, laptop, or media center. A SideShow gadget for CasaTunes – a mid-priced, multi-zone, Windows Media Center-driven whole-home audio control solution – is a low-budget control enhancer, allowing access to CasaTunes and control over the multi-zone system using a SideShow-compatible control device.
I guess the idea is for the development of gadgets for every sort of PC-based home automation system, like lighting, security, HVAC, etc, to bring low-cost control options to every corner of the automated home. The question is what will come first: greater interest and sale of Vista or greater development of gadgets?