Apple Tablet? Nah, What I Want Is a Couchlet

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Apple Tablet? Nah, What I Want Is a Couchlet

by Cameron Sturdevant

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Couchlet Form Factor

A couchlet is a tablet-sized and tablet-featured (no mouse, no keyboard) device that connects to my wireless home network.

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Charging Station

The couchlet has a convenient charging station that looks nice next to my TV. When the TV is off, the couchlet acts as a digital photo frame.

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Remote Controlling

Goodbye, expensive Logitech TV remote. Hello, couchlet. My couchlet would let me do all sorts of super-TV-remote stuff. Control my DVR/TV/DVD/cable box/Roku of course. But it would also interact with my TV so that I could easily get IMDB information for the show I'm watching. This really will be the very last remote control I buy, and it will be the only remote control in my house. (With perhaps one exception, which I'll explain in a later slide.)

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Lobster Trap

When I set my Tivo to record programs starring specific actors or containing specific content, I call it "setting the lobster trap." With the couchlet, I want to set the lobster traps, see what's been caught in the trap, and have lobster-trap functionality extended to my Roku and any other content presentation/recording device that can hook up to my TV.

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Communications Center

I routinely watch television and chitter-chatter on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, read e-mail and surf the Web. I'll do all this from my couchlet. I want to become an information whale beached on my couch.

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It Comes in Colors

I want my couchlet to have a pink accent shell. My co-habitant will have black. Offspring No. 1 could have steel blue. Offspring No. 2, bumblebee yellow. The couchlet base station will of course have a locator button that will make my couchlet ting and vibrate so I can easily find it. I'll have parental control over my offspring's couchlets, while mine, of course, is free to examine any and all content that's offered up by the cable/satellite/over-the-air networks.

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Ad Supported

While the communication between my couchlet and my home network will be secure, I bet the couchlet maker will be storing all sorts of personal data about me. I'd like a pay option to use my couchlet without getting ads, as I'm assuming a free couchlet will be ad-supported.

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No Title

No Place Like Home The couchlet doesn't leave the house. It doesn't have to have a magnesium roll cage or the ability to roam between networks. The couchlet is a "set it and forget it" home device. Nice hotels could provide basic couchlets in their rooms, but I'm not taking mine on the road. Hence, max battery life need be only 3 or 4 hours of continuous use. (If you're on a couchlet for more than 4 hours straight, you're caught in a vortex and need to take a break.)

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No Keyboard Required

At most, the couchlet will have a thumb-oriented tactile keyboard. I'm messaging and ordering content on this thing, not writing the next great novel.

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No Title

It's All Relative What are the first cousins of the couchlet? Well, the iPhone already provides mobile computing/communicating/entertaining. There could be a carlet. That's really a Garmin navigator crossed with the car's existing audio (front seat) and video (back seat) entertainment system.

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Dream Device

What's your dream device? Let me know at csturdevant@eweek.com.

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