Gadgets Galore – The iPad would just be a small incemental add

The Apple iPad was announced yesterday and I do believe the hype was so insane leading up to the announcement that Steve Jobs could have introduced a semi-transparent 1/4 inch laser screen that ran for a month on full charge and people would still have made fun of the name. I kind of think the first generation of the iPad should just have been called the iPod Touch XL as it more like the Touch and less like the iPhone.

The day after led to all the news and I came across an interesting AP article that stated

… the average household owns about 24 electronic gadgets …

and this got me thinking about how many we own in our household of 3 people. I came up with the following list of over 40 items that are used on regular or semi-regular basis and are likely plugged-in sucking power.

The List

I’ll list the items in the home theater and summarize the others.

Home Theater: 10 Gadgets

  1. Sony Receiver & Bose Surround Sound Speakers (2001)
  2. Sony Plasma TV –Living Room (2003)
  3. Sony DVD player (2004)
  4. TiVo HD* (2007)
  5. Sony PS3* (2006)
  6. Apple AppleTV* (2007)
  7. Actiontec Cable/Moca Modem* (2007)
  8. Linksys Simultaneous Dual Band Router* (2009)
  9. Western Digital NAS* (2008)
  10. Logitech Universal Remote (2008)

Arguably, the receiver and speakers are 2 items, but the one is really not useful without the other in this case.

Audio Players: 4 Gadgets
We currently have 3 working iPods (Video, Mini, Shuffle) not counting the iPhone. The Mini and Shuffle aren’t used much anymore. The Video is hooked up to the screen in the car to provide hours of Handy Manny to my daughter on long car trips. We also have a Delphi Portable XM Satellite receiver that my wife uses at work.

Cameras: 5 Gadgets
We have 5MB and 8MB point and shoot digital cameras. I received a Canon 20D DSLR for Christmas in 2005 and added an eyeFi Wireless SD card (with CF adapter) a couple years later. We added an HDD Digital Camcorder before my daughter was born.

Kitchen: 4 Gadgets
In the kitchen is set top box hooked up to TV with a Mac Mini connected to network via a Netgear MOCA bridge.

Bedrooms: 7 Gadgets
We have 2 bedrooms but have kept to keep one of them free of television, and at some point will probably remove the television from the second one as well. But currently across the two bedrooms we have Desktop computer & printer, set top box, TV, and Slingbox. To have the computer and slingbox connected to the network I use Linksys Dual Band Ethernet Wireless Bridge and Slink Ethernet over Power bridge.

Other Entertainment: 4 Gadgets
I purchased an Amazon Kindle for my wife this past Christmas. The Kindle is amazingly better in functionality than the Sony eReader purchased 2 years ago. The eReader isn’t used anymore and isn’t in this list. The other items include 2 Apple Airport Expresses purchased about 3 years apart. One was for the home theater long before the AppleTV was added and the other was for bedroom and printer. Finally, we have a Brookstone wireless speaker that is more often hooked up to one of the Airports now.

Portable Game Stations: 2 Gadgets
A Sony PSP and Nintendo DS.

Phones: 3 Gadgets
We still have regular landlines and 2 smart phones, an Apple iPhone 3G and Samsung Blackjack II.

Work Related: 4 Gadgets
My wife and I each have a laptop provided by our employers and so maybe these not count towards the list. I also have a Linksys Travel Router and the all important iGo power adapter with 8 or so different tips; something has to be able to provide power to all the devices.

Cars: 2+ Gadgets
Add to this our two cars that both have built-in GPS and one that has a DVD player with back seat screen and XM satellite radio.

So based on this number, adding an iPad to the household is only a 2% increase in the number of gadgetry we have to deal with.

Connected Devices

Going through that list of gadgets and counting the number of items that can connect to the local network or Internet via Ethernet, MOCA, or 802.11 came to 19 devices. Having so many devices is part of why I have tried to upgrade and replace network devices more than anything else. The Ethernet over Powerline worked for the Slingbox in one bedroom but not the desktop in another room. The desktop got the Dual Band Ethernet Bridge and this performs pretty well. The Mac Mini was also using wireless and wanted to see if I could do better. I have Verizon FIOS and they use MOCA for the set top boxes to connect to the network and receive programming guide data as well as Video On Demand. I started looking at MOCA bridges and added a Netgear device for the Mac Mini to connect to the router. So I have pretty much tried every major consumer based physical medium for local area networks.

Replacing Gadgets

Most of the items in this list were purchased over the course of 10 years so it’s not like we went hog wild in a short period of time. I have generally been lucky with electronics and have had them run as long as needed. The only exception seems to be wireless routers, Logitech remotes, and of course mobile phones. Over the course of the 10 years I had a wired router, 1 wireless B, 3 wireless G, and 2 wireless N routers. The switch from B to G to N to N (simultaneous dual band) was more about speed increases than failure. The Logitech remotes on the other hand… I think I had 3 that hit the wood floor and failed. The mobile phone changes consisted of 9 phones over 12 years. 4 changes were due to service provider changes. 3 were due to failure or loss. Only 2 were explicitly for something new. Switching to AT&T to get the iPhone was for something new.

Unplugged, but Serviceable

I won’t get into the unplugged devices, mostly it is older gaming systems.

Wrapping It Up

So, do I think I will get an iPad. Maybe, but not soon after it is released. I really think it is no more than extra large iPod Touch in this first generation presented. However, it has potential to open floodgates of creativity in further development of apps. Additionally, Apple has yet to release features for iPhone OS 4.0 and I imagine it will provide more interesting features for the next iPhone and updates to the iPad.

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