Thursday, April 06, 2006

UMPCs to Feature Special Media Center Extender

Julie Jacobson at CE Pro informed us on some interesting news concerning the new Origami UMPC handhelds trickling onto the market as we speak. It looks like Microsoft has created special Media Center Extender software to run on Origami based UMPCs. I've openly questioned the market for these devices at the current price points of $700 up to $1500. However, as a Media Center Extender, the potential for Origami opens up substantially, as Julie notes as well.

If you have automation software for MCE, you can use the Origami touchscreen to control the house.

Until she noted this, it hadn't occurred to me that $700 is not bad for a remote home automation touchscreen controller. Existing touchscreen devices on the market for home automation can run upwards of a few thousand dollars with far more limited functionality. The market for the Origami handheld may just be found in this niche. Great point, Julie!

There's not a formal date for the MCX software, though it is going to happen, according to Todd Rutherford, MS program manager for eHome Control.



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