Every year a group of friends are driving to Hanover, Germany, for one of the largest computer shows on earth. We arrived at 08:00 in the morning on Wednesday the 12th of March. Normally we would go on Saturday, but I was going snowboarding the upcoming week in Val Thorens, France. I also had some jobs to do for my work at KPN. The department where I work does R&D on the hottest things you can do with ADSL.

What will be remarkable about this coverage is that it will be short. Why? Well, actually, I could not find any big things on 3D graphics area, as all the news was already out before CeBit even started. NVIDIA's GeForce FX and ATI's Radeon 9800 and all announcements around ATI and NVIDIA were all done. CeBit was also smaller this year (I think due to the current economic situation). But some of the more important (for us) companies were not at CeBit. Hercules and PowerVR were not there, ATI had a really small stand on FireGL cards only, leaving vendors up to the job of showing ATI based products. The NVIDIA stand was not impressive at all. There were some surprises though.

First I will go into the things related to my job at KPN, which is slightly off topic to you, our readers, as I expect most of you are 3D graphics fans. The biggest new hype, I would call the connected home. This was one of the things I had to investigate for my boss and he was right. This could be the next big thing. All big players had some appliances around this theme. The biggest, however, was Philips with their version of the connected home. The connected home more or less comes down to having one central server for your digital content (mp3, movies etc). This content can be on this server, but also be streaming content from the internet to this server. All other devices in your home can connect to this server and can read the right content from it. MP3s for your stereo, movies for your TV, etc. Now there was a lot more going on, so let's take a look at some of the individual companies.



"The Connected Home is made up of a broadband Internet connection to the outside world and two or more devices connected together through a wired or wireless home network. The always-on broadband link allows devices around your home to communicate with each other, so that content can flow wirelessly from one appliance to another.

It may sound complex, but it’s not and that’s the whole point. The technology does all the work, communicating seamlessly through broadband connections. All you notice is that your devices react instantly to your needs as you move around your home.

What’s more, experts are predicting that in five to 10 years’ time most homes will be equipped with broadband as a standard utility – just like gas or electricity - bringing the Connected Home that much nearer."

More on this can be read here.


Others are working hard on all kind of devices, which should fit in your connected home. I see VIA being one of them.

Now I have been following VIA's Eden project right from the start and have build some very interesting things with it. It seems that VIA is taking some bold steps and this was certainly the best new technology I have seen. For years I have seen tech-freaks (myself included) try to build PCs in their cars, living rooms, etc. Most of the time I found that the annoying heat PCs produced and the size of the PCs were not working for the purposes I want to use them for. VIA is changing all that. They had some examples of mainboards that were even smaller than ITX. They also had a working example of a car-stereo which was in fact a complete PC running on the Eden platform.