Parks: Home-networking interest migrates to mobile and portable devices

Dec. 31, 2008
December 31, 2008 -- Digital cameras and photo frames are among the items consumers would most like to network.

December 31, 2008 -- Consumer-electronics researcher Parks Associates recently concluded that consumer demand for networking features will drive the next wave of consumer-electronics purchasing, particularly for imaging and mobile devices such as digital cameras, photo frames, and mobile phones.

"Digital Media Evolution," a new survey from Parks Associates, finds nearly 50 percent of U.S. broadband households want a digital camera with networking capabilities, with nearly 40 percent similarly interested in a networked digital-photo frame.

Applications for transferring media and communications among portable and fixed devices are driving this interest in networking. Parks reports that consumers see real value in the ability to transfer a mobile call to a fixed-line phone or to move music and photos among PCs and portable multimedia players.

"We're entering a new stage in home networking, where interoperability between fixed and portable devices defines new user experiences," said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst with Parks. "This trend will guide the development of powerful but energy-efficient networking solutions and the design of middleware and user interfaces that can be implemented on multiple devices running a variety of processors and core software."

"Digital Media Evolution" is a nationwide survey of U.S. consumers in broadband households and focuses on 2008 consumer-electronics purchases, including planned and completed holiday purchases. It also examines consumer interest in networked consumer electronics and willingness to pay a premium for connected devices.

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