Tag Archives: linux mce

Touchless Computing as in Minority Report?

As can be seen in the demo video from SoftKinetic, 3D motion-sensing software is becoming quite powerful. Similar to EyeToy in PS2, I would not be surprised if Sony soon brings this technology to PS3 to counter-attack Wii’s revolutionary game controller.

3D motion-sensing, or gesture recognition, could change the way we interact with our computers (think Minority Report) and even more how we control the TV screen and Media Center without a remote. See the LinuxMCE demo and picture what you could do with gesture recognition technology instead of the gyro remote.

Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer just previewed today Windows 7 with Multi-Touch, expected to be released in 2010. Multi-Touch will enable an intuitive touch interface, similar to iPhone’s (not to say copied), with drag and drop capabilities among others.

Shouldn’t Microsoft be looking beyond and directly go for Touchless rather than Touch computing? Add speech recognition and gesture recognition and the next Windows could be Touchless and Mouseless.

… or they can also leave the true innovation to Apple and copy later…

Video: Linux MCE vs Microsoft MCE and other alternatives

Two more impressive videos to enjoy with the possibilities of Linux MCE.

Many people will be reluctant to move to linux because of lack of official support. Yet you can get tons of support from the many Linux Forums.

On the other side, other options fighting to be the center of home entertainment have significant flaws:
– apart from the infamous red circle of death, the Xbox 360 does not support Xvid and Divx, so a big part of my media library in my PC can not be accessed from the Xbox 360 in the living room – unless trancoded, with loss of quality.
PS3. No support either from Xvid and DivX. The interesting alternative is to install Linux on the PS3, and use VLC to watch your media
Wii is not really an option as a Media Extender. You can only receive streamed video by installing ORB on your streaming PC, set videos to transcode to flash, and access them from the Opera browser in the Wii. Low quality video and no convenient access to library
KiSS Players. Not a bad option, but until recently the SW to install on your PC was not Vista compatible
Apple TV. No Xvid, nor DivX, and no games…Nice design but not open. Not taken seriously by Apple.

Linux MCE will let you easily record TV shows, rip your music and DVD to your media storage with no DRM issues, and on top it will integrate with Home Automation systems and Voice over IP providers (e.g. FWD) among other possibilities.

Linux MCE Video Demo: Impressive!

You can download this video in high-def with the text sharp and readable: http://wiki.linuxmce.com/index.php/Video

Running on Kubuntu, Linux MCE is probably the most advance Media center in the market, and probably the best option for your digital home… if you are a Linux savvy.
I must admit that installation for the Linux MCE is straight-forward. Now, the configuration of many of the features in the video, including simply to discover media in other PCs in your network, might take some more time and IT skills.

Nonetheless if I get it to do what it promises, this is really the Media Center and Home Automation system of my dreams.

There is a more simple option that installing yourself:  Fiire builds HW with Linux MCE pre-installed. Fiire is the vendor of the gyro and the thin media extenders in the demo video.

Although somehow overpriced, I must admit that the product definition from the Fiire guys is outstanding.