More and more, hardware vendors are finding that Web 2.0 technologies can be a good way to improve the end user experience of their devices. For example, Netgear (NTGR) said today it’s inked a deal with San Jose, Calif.-based Pramati to bundle ReadyNAS Photos, an adapted version of Pramati’s Dekoh Photos, that allows people to share photos right off their NAS device. (see screenshot.) Although I need to take a closer look at this before passing any judgment, the demo that the guys behind Dekoh gave me when I met with them last year was impressive.
Netgear isn’t the first hardware company to get on the Web 2.0 bandwagon. Maxtor back in 2006 teamed up with Fabrik and bundled MyFabrik service and software with its drives. Fabrik has since bought Simpletech, a drive and peripherals company. And last year, RCA teamed up with Box.net for its Small Wonder video camera. Of course, the company that has embraced Web 2.0 more than any other is GPS/Internet navigation device maker Dash.
Given that Web 2.0 technologies are well-suited for improving user experience, I hope this trend catches on and makes some of today’s digital devices even easier to use. I wonder what gadget gurus David Pogue, Walt Mossberg and my former boss, Josh Quittner, now a columnist for Time Magazine, have to say about it.
PS: If there are any more examples, let me know and I can add them to the list.