You've heard about the consumerization of IT — the infiltration of personal consumer devices like the iPhone and iPad into business computing environments. Looks like things are flowing in the opposite direction, too: A couple of companies at Macworld/iWorld are seeking to bring corporate-level IT technologies into the home.
The first is NetHero, an app for iOS and OS X that lets you monitor all the devices on your home network (much as IT folks can remotely monitor systems in offices). (In fact, the company that developed NetHero, Pie Digital, is best known for its cloud-based IT management software.)
Once you install NetHero and let it connect to your router, it shows you a list of all the devices that are connecting to your home network and the speed and quality of their connections. (Asked what technologies are used to do this, a NetHero rep would only say, "A variety.") It'll even suggest steps you can take to speed up those connections.
If you install NetHero clients on the Macs, Windows PCs, iOS or Android devices on the network, you can remotely manage them — reboot and shut them down, open apps, and other scary stuff. It's a control-freak's dream (or nightmare). If you're curious, NetHero is available for free from the NetHero website or the iTunes Store.
The second company migrating high-end IT technologies into the home is Remo Software. Its More app is like NetHero times a million. It's a software tool that installs on Macs and Windows PCs, as well as on iOS, Android, and Windows mobile devices. Once installed, you can remotely manage those devices in all sorts of interesting/devious ways.
The app can do a hardware inventory of all of your family's smart devices (including details like amount of storage space, CPU, RAM, and so on). It'll show you the internal temperature and battery status of each device. It'll defrag and wipe drives, tweak energy-management settings, manage and password-protect files and folders, remove duplicates, and on and on and on. It has parental control tools that let you define the apps your kids use and when they can use them. The features list is insane.
Not all of that functionality will be available immediately. The app name stands for Manage, Optimize, Recover, and Enhance; on launch, only the Optimize components (Privacy Cleaner, Registry Cleaner for Windows, Free Space Wipe, Memory Optimizer, and Remove Duplicates) will be in place. The rest of the app's tools (M, R, and E) are planned for the end of May. It's free for now, but the company has plans to start charging by number of devices under management at some point in the future.
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