Digital Media Unleashed

David Sukoff is the author of today’s guest blog post. He is the founder of Sookbox, the Cambridge-based consumer electronics startup, where he and a team of MIT engineers have developed a paradigm-shifting media server, called the Sookbox -- which stores all of your media for access by any device, all controlled by a smart device. David was one of several entrepreneurs who presented their ideas for IP-connected homes at the recent Technology Meet-up in Cambridge, MA, hosted by Verizon and the MIT Enterprise Forum. Verizon is co-hosting another Technology Meet-up on May 7 in New York City.

A kid born in this decade will likely never have had to deal with DVDs or CDs. The promise of digital media is finally being realized by freeing it from the physical constraints of a plastic disc. Digital movie and video files can now be transferred from location to location as fast as your internet connection allows, and these days, that's pretty darn fast...and it keeps getting faster. The widespread availability of high speed broadband has opened the door for companies like Sookbox to create consumer products that make the connected home possible.

All your media, all in one place

I am a movie buff, with a penchant for Mamet, Copolla, and Scorcese. Once my two kids were born, Disney, Harry Potter, and SpongeBob, joined the mix. Before I knew it, the family movie and music collections became quite a formidable jumble of files, all hosted on different devices that were a pain to keep track of. While building my home outside Boston, I looked high and low for a solution that would allow me to store all of my family's media in one location, accessible from any TV or stereo in the home, and controllable by any handheld device. The search was futile, but being an MIT alum, I decided to build it. Together with several MIT students, the first Sookbox was born. The more people I showed it to, the more excited responses I received from investors. Finally, a product that would allow access to all your media, all your web services, all your apps, all in one place, all primed to play, all ready to run anywhere, all to any output.

George Jetson, Meet the Sookbox!

The connected home for so long was only an idea from science fiction, but today, we have functionality that would make George Jetson jealous. Residential high speed broadband has brought the "cloud" home. Now, people expect to be able to stream video and music to their handheld devices anywhere, however watching video on a small screen is much less satisfying than watching it on that large high definition television you have at home. The same with music...earbuds cannot recreate the experience of hearing your favorite song through your high fidelity speakers. Let's be honest, most of us spend a lot more time at home than we do on the road, yet our music and video files are likely stuck on your laptop hard drive or hosted on a cloud service. The Sookbox integrates your media into the connected home, enabling you to watch what you want, where you want, without having to figure which device holds your file. Now, we're using our handheld devices to control the content, not hold it. 

The Future looks like Now

Going forward, the connected home may not look much different than the homes we've grown up in. However, all of the systems will be connected wirelessly, with low profile interfaces, that are evident only when needed, and where needed.  Having equipment, like the Sookbox, fully integrated into your home, accessible on-demand from any television, or audio device, in any room of the home, without set top boxes, is the necessary next step for a truly connected home, turning your house into an integrated system of its own.