There have been various attempts by computer makers to conquer your living room. As the stylish MacBook Air and Macbook are becoming lighter and more powerful, accompanying our lives everywhere we go, the distinction of working space and living room is about to go away. Laptops today are so powerful, they cover everything from writing a film script to actually editing the resulting movie. Consequently, your entertainment, formerly governed by a TV, a DVD player and a stereo system, is driven by computers too.
Still, brands like Apple are struggling to redefine your living room experience. While Apple doesn’t want to commit to TV and BlueRay, hackers are trying to close the missing gaps. TV-makers like Sony are trying to tie traditional computer functions to the TV set.
The everywhere-at-home entertainment device
Rumors about Apple coming out with a tablet device some time in 2010 are fueling wild ideas about wirelessly transmitted video signals from computer to TV.
What Apple may be trying to do in 2010, one small new company is heading for today. They just announced their product called Litl, a small netbook-like device that is designed to bridge the gap of a traditional computer and an “everywhere-at-home entertainment device”.
The Litl was designed with the help of Pentagram, a traditional design company who doesn’t always have a lucky hand when it comes to interaction-design. However, from the pictures the Litl’s interface looks nice, straight forward and pleasing the eye.
Litl describes its user experience like this:
We built litl to enjoy the web at home. When you see our main navigation screen, you’ll immediately know how to use it. Just point and click. Litl eliminates menus, icons, and folders. In fact, we’ve removed all computer administrative debris between you and the web.
Breaking paradigms, introducing new ones
The company Litl claims the device is maintenance free, so you can just focus on using it for your pleasure. Its makers may have had simplicity for users in mind, but they weren’t shy introducing new interface ideas, like a wheel that replaces a touch screen, touch pad, stylus or mouse. All in all the litl tries to limit everything you do to a few established forms of entertainment and communication, such as news reading with RSS, watching movies or photo slide shows, or listening to music. Other than that, there is only so litl you can do with this thing, and for $300 more you might get as well a Macbook with better graphics, including programs to edit and enjoy sound and video, and everything else you’d expect from a robust operating system today.