DIY Inspiration: MSI WindBOX

Sometimes a piece of hardware is the inspiration for a project, or even a whole new approach to household computing. MSI is about to release their WindBOX, which has me considering the possibilities. It’s essentially the hardware equivalent of one of the popular new net-top pc’s but in a form factor that mounts to the VESA fittings on the back of any common LCD.

ipc_ms-9a15I can’t help but think that this has myriad applications in the happy geeks home. With hardware based MPEG decoding it can mount behind my Sharp Aquos HDTV and be the media extender than I always wanted.

It’s fanless, so silent, and low power, so cool running. Heck, it’d be a completely logical embedded Asterisk server. What about a custom control panel for home automation? Or the home automation server itself?

Seriously folks, non-traditional form factors like this can be the basis for some interesting innovation. More computing in the home, but not more obvious computing. Smarter devices, but less intrusive devices.

According to CrunchGear the device is near release and should be around $250 as a bare bones unit.