One of the loudest messages of this IDF is that consumers are not driven to purchase by technology, they’re driven to purchase by desire. Whereas technology companies like Intel have traditionally sold to IT literate buyers who based their purchase decisions on performance, features and price, the general consumer is a different beast altogether. To be successful in the general consumer market, the buyer has to WANT your product – it’s not about technology or features, it’s about creating products that your customers want to buy.
The general consumer is already adopting many of the building blocks for the digital home without even knowing it. Most households will already have a PC, a broadband connection, a digital music player (usually an iPod), digital TV and some kind of gaming console. Intel’s vision involves bringing all this technology together and integrating it into, well, a digital home.
Digital devices are generally split into two categories, those that stay in the home and those that you carry with you, but there has to be communication between the two. It’s all very well downloading masses of digital content to your PC, but you don’t want to only be able to enjoy this content while you’re sitting at your PC. The answer is, of course, mobile devices for the playback of digital content, but of course this brings with it the problem of copy protection. Now, although as MacDonald mentioned, many of us see DRM as “the work of the Devil”, there is no way that the entertainment industry is going to let the digital home really happen without keeping some kind of leash on content ownership.
There’s no doubt that Digital Rights Management is going to be a tough nut to crack on the road towards the true digital home, but Intel is working hard with the entertainment industry to come up with a solution that will protect copyrights, while not annoying users too much.