The CEO of QNAP, one of the top NAS manufacturers in the world today, was recently praised as a visionary in an interview with AKIBA PC Hotline, a Japanese website. Richard Lee expressed that QNAP wants to show the world that Asians are at the forefront of the network attached storage industry, and based on the features in QNAP’s NAS operating system released in 2013 he isn’t joking. In fact, AKIBA PC Hotline even went so far as to call him the “Steve Jobs of Taiwan.”
This may not be far from the truth. Although Steve Jobs is renowned in the modern world for the iPhone and iPad, it wasn’t the hardware that sparked the popularity of those devices. It was the intuitive and easy to use software coupled with a wide array of powerful features and applications. Richard Lee’s philosophy seems to mirror that. “The future of NAS is software. It must be multi-window, multi-tasking with remote access from PC and smartphones. Another key element is having multiple applications. Similar to iOS and Android, the QTS App Center now consists of over 120 install-on-demand applications that extend the functionalities of QNAP Turbo NAS even further,” he confidently states. Lee isn’t just concerned with software, however. He also embraces the concept of IoT, or Internet of Things, where the net is populated by all manner of smart devices. He hints at a potential feature of future NAS software, “For example, by storing data such as heart rates and calorie counters recorded by wearables on their NAS, users can analyze this data with apps downloaded from App Center to manage their health better.”
If this is the future of QNAP, we may very well see a NAS box in every home much as we see a smart phone in everyone’s pockets.