Computer-makers will spend more of their time researching and manufacturing technology for the digital home and in-car entertainment markets rather than the traditional PC, according to Asus product manager – component, Albert Liang.Though memory capacity is rising rapidly with some home computers now offering a terabyte of space, in reality most users don’t need this much space and research and technology in this vein is being performed at the risk of usability, said Liang.
“PC performance hasn’t improved much at all, even though memory capacity has. The biggest PC on the market today, which offers a terabyte of capacity, won’t be used by most consumers who use only about 200GB of space for all their photos, music and movies,” he said.
Though Liang said he can’t predict what computers will offer in five years time in terms of technology and design, he believes that the trend away from home PCs in favour of notebook computers is a given, while moving computers into the loungeroom to provide more of a “digital home” experience is a phenomenon that still has a long way to go.
“More and more people are buying notebooks because of convenience and mobility — when you buy a notebok you don’t really sacrifice much at all in terms of performance. But brinigng it into the loungeroom is a different matter,” said Liang.
“The true concept of the digital home, from my perspective, is that grandma or grandpa who know nothing about a computer or how to use it can use their digital home entertainment system, which is driven by a PC, without even realising that they are using a computer, which I believe we are very far away from right now.
“There are many ‘so-called’ digital home devices such as PC hubs in the loungeroom but we are actually very far away from this.”
Liang also believes that PCs will soon make their move into the car market to answer consumers’ needs in this area, technology which Asus now has but is still fine-tuning its application.
Liang believes this area wil see much growth in the next five years.
“Car industries are putting more and more focus on car entertainment – connecting to games consoles, putting televisions in, and so on. But these technologies are still very limited. More and more people are spending six hours or more in the car very day – think about sales people. We need to see PCs in the car that can connect to the internet, have GPS, and also all the other word processing and entertainment functions of the PC,” he said.