In this interview, I ask him not only about his cool new PeekFON device with Free PanEuropean GPRS Roaming, also about the current and future plans for FON WiFi roaming for the world, about firmware updates for Fonera 2.0n that I reviewed here, how we could expect more roaming agreements to be added with more ISPs in the future to create one big worldwide standard for WiFi authentication and roaming, Fem2Cell technology in upcoming Fem2Fonera and even prospects for White Spaces, WiMax and 4G technology in FON routers.
I am a big fan of FON. It enables you to have free access to a million WiFi hotspots in the world in exchange for sharing your own WiFi at home with your neighbors. FON routers broadcast 2 WiFi signals, one is a personal WPA-password protected WiFi SSID and the other is the open WiFi SSID for sharing your Internet connection using the FON DNS authentication login page so people are not able to do illegal things anonymously on your WiFi.
This newest Fonera 2.0n router is much more than just a WiFi router. It now comes with a powerful embedded processor and a USB host connector so that you can connect USB hard drives, USB dongles, USB printers/webcams and other USB peripherals directly to your router using a USB 2.0 hub and thus have those peripherals always connected to your home local network as well as to the whole Internet. Fonera 2.0n lets you install certain applications developed open-source such as a BitTorrent downloader based on Transmission, Youtube/Picasa/Flickr/Facebook video and picture uploaders, Rapidshare/Megaupload downloaders or just run FTP, Samba, Upnp file servers locally on your local network or remotely over the Internet so you can stream all your multimedia files from any other WiFi hotspot that you may access all over the Web.
The main use that I have with my new Fonera 2.0n is to constantly have access to Terrabytes of my personal multimedia files from all over the world, any of which streamed using my 2mbit/s upload Internet broadband connection. That 2mbit/s upload connection which I have at home, lets me remotely stream DVD quality movies. This currently works fine using any laptop copying the FTP URL into VLC media player “Open URL” feature. I am hoping to soon have this work on my Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android, so that I would easily be able to remotely stream my personal movies and music hosted at my home on my Fonera 2.0n from any Internet access point in the world using that.
Cloud storage will eventually be able to host everyones massive amounts of personal multimedia files. Though as ones options are today to use Cloud storage services from Google or Amazon, to host a Terrabyte of personal data on the cloud would cost $1800 per year on Google App Engine, same price at Amazon S3, those prices are just not workable at all if you just want to host 1 Terrabyte of your multimedia files on the web. Even the new Google price for Picasa image storage at $256 per Terrabyte per year is still far too expensive cloud storage for most people. See my comment on Google’s latest cloud storage prices here: http://charbax.com/2009/11/11/cheapest-cloud-storage-needed/ A Terrabyte hard drive only costs about $80 in the US or 80€ in Europe, add to that the 79€ Fonera 2.0n, and that is all it will cost you (other than the power consumption of the USB hard drive) to have access to stream from your Terrabyte of data anytime you want from anywhere you want, as long as you have got enough upload speed from your home to support the streaming of that data.
Another feature that is really cool, is the Firefox Add-On the FON DownloadHelper, which can automatically launch the download of .torrent files to the BitTorrent client of your Fonera 2.0n router, directly from when you click on the .torrent file from within Firefox. And you can launch your BitTorrent downloads locally when you are at home or remotely using your laptop or Android product using Transdroid from anywhere in the world. And when the BitTorrent downloads are finished, you can immediately stream your downloaded video, music contents locally or remotely as well. With Extensions soon coming to the official Chrome browser, I think we can expect FON DownloadHelper extension for Google Chrome soon as well.
If you are considering to have a Network Attached Storage in your home, if you are considering to get a WiFi 802.11n router, if you are interested in hosting a remote FTP server and BitTorrent client in your router in your home, and run a print server and webcam, if you are considering joining the FON WiFi-sharing community, then I would definitely recommend that you check out the Fonera 2.0n and follow the latest developments about it in the FON Discussion Boards.
FaceVsion of Taiwan now has added HDMI-input and Full HD 1920×1080 HD video-conferencing in the new FVexpress Pro card, as well as they still have the FVexpress combo with a new higher quality HD webcam included and a mini-PCI module that can be integrated in certain compatible netbooks (when the Express Card slot is not present on the netbooks) to integrate their HD video-conferencing directly into the netbooks.
What this technology from FaceVsion does is that it integrates HD H264 encoding and decoding into their express card device, or into their mini-PCI module, for netbook/laptop manufacturers to integrate or for end-consumers to buy as an express card solution or as a mini-PCI module to install inside of the netbook or laptop.
FaceVsion’s Qulive software automatically adapts the upload and download bitrates to and from each party according to the stable and reliable bandwidth that is available, it also support SIP to SIP connections and even IP to IP direct connections, thus it could be perfectly suitable for implementation at the Enterprise, for large, medium or small businesses. But also, especially, for just $119, this FaceVsion HD video-conferencing solution could easilly reach end consumers in masse if they manage to offer the right combination of product and value proposition.
Imagine sitting in your living room with a HD camcorder or cheaper HD webcam on your HDTV, and the same for your grand parents wherever in the world they live, simply sit back and have a real-time HD quality discussion in each of your sofa’s, the siye of a 42″ HDTV making it look like you are nearly sitting in the same room!
They provide a fast NAS device with two SATA drive bays and a gigabit lan connector for 300 dollars at the retail price called the ioBox-200. And a server solution called the ioBox-1000 that will retail at about a thousand dollars.