Skynet is Coming

Skynet is Coming

Posted On: October 6, 2011
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Comments: 6 Responses

Science-fiction told us the machine uprising would come from defense technology, but as ever reality is far more ordinary. You’re just un-boxing your new Central Station monitor, you’re excited, you got some new gear, then the technological singularity slaps you in the face.

Next thing you know we’re being grown in pods while our mechanical overlords are harvesting our bioelectrical energy to snack on. Time to fight back.

…..And so goes the new viral campaign for Samsung’s new wireless Central Station Monitor series.

The Central Station is a 1080p monitor that doubles as a docking station, replete with HDMI and VGA output, a speaker port, four USB ports (two of ‘em USB 3.0), plus an additional USB port just for wired connections (more on that in a bit). The best part, of course, is that all of this docking happens wirelessly with the help of a small dongle that plugs into your laptop’s USB port — even if it’s of the 2.0 variety.

The promise is that all you need to do is walk within range of the monitor to be able to mirror (or extend) your desktop, stream 1080p video, and access USB peripherals, such as external hard drives.

The Central Station’s foolproof setup reminds us of Intel Wireless Display — incidentally, another technology that lets you send 1080p video from a laptop to a big screen. To get started, just plug the discreet dongle into your notebook’s USB port. A small window appears onscreen and, unless you happen to invest in more than one of these things, it’ll be crystal clear which Central Station you need to highlight and select.

The dongle, which uses Samsung’s proprietary wireless technology, has a range of five feet — a fraction of the 30-foot leeway you’ll get with a typical Bluetooth device. So if you imagined using this to stream movies from another room in the house, well, we hate to be the bearer of bad news.

To its credit, though, the display automatically disconnects when you walk away, and reconnects when you resurface. In a demo with Samsung, we noticed the display took an extra second or two to light up after we came back, but we’d hardly call its reaction time sluggish.

Currently the Central Station is PC-compatible only, with Mac drivers coming “later this year.”