With predictions that there will be more than 28 million networked homes in the US by the end of 2008 (CyberAtlas), it is possible that traditional technology such as the VCR and the set-top box will gradually disappear and be replaced by all-encompassing home networks.
Continued growth of new construction coupled with consumer demand for the latest entertainment systems is driving sales through installing dealers to grow 8% in 2003 over 2002. The results of Parks Associates latest survey of the channel indicate that next year looks even better with nearly 60% of dealers expecting their businesses to grow more than 10% in 2004.
Digital America 2003, The U.S. Consumer Electronics Industry, showcases the growth and opportunity in the consumer electronics market, from handheld computers and personal video recorders (PVRs) to wireless phones and MP3 players. Available free as an online publication, Digital America 2003 explains new technology trends that are enhancing consumers' lifestyles and workstyles by bringing information, entertainment and communications almost anywhere, any time.
China's telecom carriers market will gradually open to foreign investors, in the order of value-added services, basic mobile services, and basic fixed telecom services. Geographically, the Chinese government will first open the market in three super-sized cities-Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, then 17 big cities, and finally the rest of the country.
In early 2002, the Shanghai municipal government "advised" SCN to accelerate the digital TV project and gradually migrate to interactive TV services in the next few years. The government also provided millions of dollars in subsidies specifically for the digital TV project. Reprinted from the November 17, 2002 edition of "Parks' Points"
In the end, Parks Associates believes that the PC and standalone consumer electronics platforms will both play key roles as distributed hubs in the home. Reprinted from the November 17, 2002 edition of "Parks' Points"
Both technologies will be better positioned to thrive if coexistence schemes currently being developed are broadly implemented. In addition, cost-effective combo 802.11/Bluetooth solutions should play an important role, as there are clearly situations where device vendors ideally need to support both technologies in a single host device for different applications.
In the end, the infrastructure that a service provider creates to reach the shell of a home will be the catalyst for manufacturers, service companies and others to create the automated products that may one day make the home automation market what we always thought it could be.
Potential commercial applications include distribution of wireless audio, video, and data over local area networks (LAN) for home, office, and boats. In addition UWB has the unique ability to resolve global position location to centimeter accuracy as a byproduct of sending and receiving data between multiple UWB devices.
Caveats and concerns aside, the next two years promise to bring significant development in the field of connected entertainment. Growth will come from partnerships between platform developers and service providers (think set-top boxes), new forms of content, emerging business models, and a growing awareness and acceptance among consumers for these applications.
If you're a consumer living in a small town or in rural America, get ready for a big surprise. If you live in rural Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Georgia, South Carolina, upstate New York, Alaska, Texas, Nevada, or pretty much any other rural state, your phone company is about to provide a range of services that no other provider will be able to, if it isn't already. If you live in the big city, eat your heart out!
Don't blink now or there'll be another wireless networking technology to keep track of. Sorry, you blinked!
The capabilities now are bountiful; one's imagination is the only limitation. We tell our clients that if the load is connected to the system, we are 99.9% certain that we can program same to their specifications. (We haven't been stymied yet.) We also urge our clients to ask for the impossible, you never know!
Our evaluation is that the rate of growth in the next few years will be sufficient to give viability to well conceived investment planning. Up-to-date technology, feasible training policy, competitive costs, liveliness and a good purpose in mind are the main characteristics imposed to newcomers.
Clearly 2001 has been a mixed bag in the areas discussed above with the number of bright spots being equaled by instances of postponed growth. The depth of this technology industry downturn has been unprecedented by most metrics. It has reinforced the belief that the tech industry despite its allure is cyclical beyond just the semiconductor segment. Nevertheless over the long-term the technology industry, as an aggregate, should post healthy positive growth.
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