DLNA is growing—and fast. Coming off of a record year in 2013, with increasing numbers of member companies and supported products, DLNA is focusing on a few specific areas of improvement and, we expect, looking to serve more markets.
Clouds in the Forecast
One of the most important areas of growth for DLNA will be in cloud support. To this point, the technology has been focused on sharing personal media in your house with other in-home devices. As people increasingly store media in the cloud, and as they expect to be able to use networks to access their home media from different locations, DLNA is expanding to accommodate those expectations. Expect to see cloud support coming soon.
Additionally, DLNA is aware of user frustration caused by format incompatibility. It doesn’t do much good to be able to browse between devices if they can’t play the same media formats. So DLNA will likely push to have products support specific sets of formats, allowing users to rely on those content types. Transcoding may also become a necessary feature to address this problem.
Driving (and Flying, and Living) with DLNA
In terms of applications, DLNA is well-poised to support some of the biggest electronics trends. For example, at CES and MWC this year automotive entertainment solutions made a huge splash. Imagine how much more useful a car entertainment system would be if you could use devices you already have on you, such as phones and tablets, for playback, storage and control. DLNA’s easy interoperability would make that possible. And the same goes for in-flight entertainment. DLNA could be a crucial step in the quest to let flyers enjoy media exactly how they want—on their own devices—in the air.
Similarly, the “connected home” trend will continue to embrace DLNA. Different devices throughout the home, from different manufacturers, can all use DLNA to communicate and interoperate. And this is where DLNA really shines: consumers don’t have to be loyal to a single manufacturer, and hardware/software developers have ready-made ways for their products to integrate with others.
What’s your forecast for DLNA? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.