It makes me sad when products that could have been remarkable, well, aren’t. Remarkable, as I have defined it, is when they would have changed the way the world does something. This latest disappointment for me happened with AppleTV
AppleTV is great. It lets you watch tv shows, movies, and listen to music all through your TV, by automatically syncing with your… iTunes. What? No DivX? No Xvid? No FLV (YouTube format… wouldn’t that be a trip?)? No hard drive bigger than 40g’s (Okay, so i threw this one in here)?
Apple missed remarkable by locking down their product to just iTunes. Sure, I can see some of the reasons for it, like greed (and others, of course). It’s really too bad, too. I think they chose a great price point, at around half the cost of their iPhone.
But instead they decided to miss some big opportunities, like becoming the hub for all media in the household, creating a real link between the computer and pc. Oh, the AppleTV looks portable, so they also missed the people who would have taken it to their friends to sync with their media and share (thus becoming social), it could have become a portable DJ box for parties by still syncing with iTunes, it could have been used at schools for teachers to stream videos, slides, etc to classrooms, at coffee shops to add an additional music experience, at gyms, etc. To their credit, they did create a plugin backend that will definitely be taken advantage of.
Still, AppleTV missed much of the same remark-ability that Zune did by locking down their product, thus neutralizing much of what could have been social. Zune locked their wireless, essentially, and AppleTV has done the same.
For even more evidence on how people really want to use the AppleTV, the real money that could have been made, and the real remark-ability that could have occurred, simply check these hacks out. Then again, AppleTV may be remarkable, but now it will only be truly remarkable to the geeks who are willing to hack it.