"Hive devices convert everyday networking devices, such as a network router, into multi-functional ones with expanded possibilities. The conversion is done by replacing the pre-installed software of these networking devices with the open source Hivewares, which then allows new hardware to be plugged in. Examples include hard disks, web cameras, speakers, FM transmitters, weather stations and many other hardware tools. Limited only by imagination, Hive devices gets more useful as more external accessories are added.
OpenWrt is based on the Linux kernel and is designed to work on small, low power embedded computers. The main function of OpenWrt is to work as a network router – a device that connects two different networks together and move data between them. Hivewares uses OpenWrt as the operating system and operates as a multi-media layer enabling the device to become fully multi-media enabled. This not only extends the functionality of the system, opening up a wealth of new applications and features, but also simplifies the installation and configuration of the Hive device.
What can a Hive device do?
At it’s simplest with no external devices attached a Hive device is a small, low power, computer running a simplified version of Linux. Usually the base unit has been built from a network appliance, so network routing and other related technologies/services will already be available. Other default software includes a web server, PHP, OLSR and Zeroconf, which will be explained in detail elsewhere on this web site.
Hive devices become more useful when external accessories are added. These accessories are often connected by USB and include web cameras, speakers, FM transmitters, I/O boards, and Bluetooth dongles. These can be used to play or broadcast audio, take images, control electronic equipment, and send files to Bluetooth devices (mobile phones, hand held computers and laptops).
We call the software that controls these functions on the Hive device Personalities, which are discussed in detail in other sections of this site. They are configured using a simple web interface, a process that the majority of users will be familiar with. This interface also allows the user to control individual Hive devices or groups of devices." (http://www.hivenetworks.net/tiki-index.php?page_ref_id=37)
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