I want a Wi-Fi to stereo out adapter

Jeff Bone jbone@jump.net
Sun, 19 Aug 2001 01:07:06 -0500


Dan Kohn wrote:

> Here's a simple enough product I would like to buy, that doesn't
> currently seem to exist.  I want a network sound receiver (NSR)

I think this is a fantastic idea!  I want one!

> Note that Bluetooth originally planned to offer this, but Bluetooth has
> now been declared dead. ... There are several offerings in this space ...

My bet on this front is 802.11b.  Just as more general and "dumber"
networking protocols developed for wired WANs displaced "smarter" protocols
developed and optimized for wired LANs, so too in the wireless space.  It's
a pattern:  TheRiseOfTheStupidNetwork. [1]  I'm betting it happens in the
home interconnect space as well.

So here's what I know so far from making a few runs at this consumer space
and being a ring-side spectator in many more attempts...  you just can't
break into the consumer electronics space.  If you're building a box, you're
dead unless *perhaps* you are building things for the ultra high-end
market;  even then, it's a crapshoot.

I would think that the way to tackle this one would be to build a media
bridge box that speaks 802.11b, has a fair-sized cache / persistent store in
the middle, an IR interface, a variety of media wire protocols on the other
side, and has a (hidden) general-purpose OS -w- apps inside that can handle
extension, customization, smart caching of streams, and so on.  You build
the software beast out of freely available parts with just a minimum amount
of proprietary secret sauce, probably the caching architecture.  Or, if you
feel like having the biggest baddest best friend on the block but being
hated by everyone else, you buddy up to MS and use their stuff.  You throw
together a hardware reference design and have a bunch of prototypes / early
release products built in Korea or Taiwan.  Then you go get Sony, Phillips,
and various other consumer electronics concerns to license your design
package.  You need three guys:  the Linux guy, the motherboard guy, and the
ex-VC or ex-CE director product marketing guy.  Until you've got prototype,
the latter guy is hitting the funding trail while the first camp out in a
garage somewhere.

This deal is fundable only on the West Coast, if at all in this environment.

And it's gotta cost under $200.

Sounds like fun;  if I wasn't wrapped up in the current play, I'd be in.
Anyone else?

jb

[1] http://www.isen.com/papers/