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Monday, January 10, 2005

Digital Convergence In The Living Room

We had been covering quite frequently in this blog, developments in the consumer electronics sector, wherein we covered Russell Beattie declaring its all over for microsoft's competitors and we covered Broadband redefines consumer electronics sector, and the impending Microsoft Vs. Nokia war in the mobile segment.Many readers have written wondering why there is so much coverage about this sector intiated recently. Quite simple : The next attractive battleground is the digital home. News.com recently covered Technology makers no longer see their customers in stark terms of either "enterprise" or "consumer". Fortune covers the emergence of the digital convergence in the living room. Excerpts with edits :

Inspired by a residential consumer electronics market that is potentially several times larger and more lucrative than the PC business, armies from at least ten different tech-related industries—including PC makers, CE makers, cable companies, telcos, utilities, media companies and software developers—have amassed here in the desert to plan their assaults on the living rooms of the world. All are convinced that they have a mandate to bring the blessings of digital convergence to a population that is still largely baffled by concepts like digital TV and home networking.
“The PC is where it all comes together,” Gates said of the digital living room. But it quickly became apparent that the PC is also where it can all come apart. we’re rapidly approaching a time when the majority of American homes have high-speed Internet connections and home networks. Cable companies will provide your phone service. Telephone companies will provide your movies and TV shows. Electric utilities will deliver your Internet service. You’ll buy your digital TVs and portable music players from computer companies. Satellite companies will beam personalized driving directions, traffic reports and TV shows to your car. You’ll control your robot vacuum cleaner from the video display on your refrigerator, which also doubles as the family message center. You’ll watch high-definition DVDs that are played through your game console. Media companies will broadcast music and video to your mobile phone, which you can also use to control your home security system and thermostat. Sensors built into dishwashers, windows, curling irons and basement floors will send text messages to your wristwatch or to the display on your key chain, if something is amiss at home.

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