As embedded devices become faster, cheaper and capable of integrating more peripheral functions, traditional product categories are merging together to create unique, multi-functional and convergent devices that address the ways that consumers want to access information, education and entertainment content. As a result, consumer electronics devices are moving into a whole new age of computing in terms of how digital content such as data, voice, audio and video can be transferred and shared between devices, and how this can be accomplished with unprecedented control and convenience as well as with security in mind.
The Digital Home is a new evolving market segment within the consumer electronics space that is driving new technologies, standards and innovative products aimed at delivering digital content over home networks to consumers. However, various challenges are posed by this new emerging market opportunity for device manufacturers and software vendors. Common challenges seen in the deployments of digital home solutions include digital rights management, network bandwidths, content storage, interoperability, dynamic environment and distributed control.
This article will focus on embedded software technologies such as UPnP (Universal Plug-N-Play), CIFS ( Common Internet File System), NAS (Network Attached Storage) and Media Server technologies that are developed to solve the challenges device manufactures and developers face when delivering integrated digital home solutions. These solutions are destined to become successful and pervasive in the next era of consumer applications.