Table of Contents For This Issue
News about People and Companies influencing The Broadband Home
While Intel was studying broadband early adopters and their uses of digital entertainment, they found many participants who wanted Intel to address a different and more troubling problem: the pressures of dealing with health problems of their spouses and parents kept bubbling to the surface. Eric Dishman reports on Intel's progress in understanding what needs home health innovations should address and their experience in prototyping “smart home” systems to help address them. In early 2004, these systems will move from the lab and into the lives of real elders and their caregivers.
With our everyday lives becoming ever more dependent on technology, we're great fans of companies that devote resources to design products so they can be used by "real people". We've found only a few places doing such work and want to sing their praises. Please tell us about ones we're missing so we can point to more of them.
We report on our tests of two Smart Displays: ViewSonic's airPanel V110 and V150. The latter includes Nevo for Smart Displays, a universal remote control from Universal Electronics. Our bottom line is that while we were impressed, some improvements would make us more eager to go buy one for ourselves. Unlike our broadband connection, PVRs, Audiotron and digital camera, this hasn't yet met our "we can't live without it" test.
Over the past two years the idea of sending digital audio over a home network to your analog speakers has gone from "far-out" to products people will be able to buy affordably; although mass market adoption will take some time, the technical and ease-of-use factors for audio are in reach. The next problem--as yet unsolved--is wireless distribution of high-quality video. We're hearing from companies like ViXS and Bermai that the upcoming CES Show in January may make clearer what solutions the consumer electronics companies will decide on.
We're going to be in London in September to speak at Broadband World Forum 2003 and hear interesting perspectives from others. If you will be there, please stop us and say hello.