Many media are either already in digital formats (CD, DVD, digital camera, etc.) or can be converted into digital formats cheaply and easily (scanner, audio/video digitizer, etc.). The hard disk drive (HDD) areal density improvement starts to make it economically feasible to store these media in digital formats on HDD. A single-disk (or possibly dual-disk for availability) device integrating storage and organization for all these media is now attractive for the home. Many of the technologies we developed for the IT industry are applicable to tackle the home storage management issues (e.g. database for organization, highly-available file systems for robustness, data distribution — database and file system — for sharing, security technology for acquiring data from commercial servers, NAS functionality for talking to home PC’s). Such an appliance is also applicable to Small Office Home Office (SOHO) environment where media-rich web pages are becoming pervasive.
At IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California, USA, we are building the Consumer All-purpose Storage Appliance (CASA) project to address the growing need of home content management. With CASA, people everywhere can gain greater access to their personal multimedia assets. The multimedia assets include text, images, messages, audio, and video. CASA integrates technology for information capture, content management, search and retrieval, categorization, and provides indexing of a user’s multimedia assets.
As we mentioned above, the multimedia assets include text, images, messages, audio, and video. It is possible that an appliance that manages only one kind of media (such as a photo organizer) or an appliance that handles multiple media types. In other words, CASA is an environment for device and content management.