TECH TALK: 2006 Tech Trends: Digital Home

4. The digital home is the next big technology battleground.

The iPod and the Xbox 360 were the hottest selling items during the Christmas season in the US. They are harbingers of change. Music is no longer being consumed on big boom boxes. Rather, people are starting to carry it with them on their iPods. The Xbox 360 is the first of the next-generation gaming consoles with graphics which mirror the visual reality of our world and the ability to connect multiple players into fascinating online virtual worlds. Intels year-end redesign of its logo and byline are but the start of the home wars. Call it convergence or divergence, the stakes are huge. For us consumers, it is a world where the digital dreams that have been talked about for long finally start becoming real.

Technology Futures (via TMC Net): The digital home is entering the next level of acceptance, with the expansion of the electronic gaming and MP3 marketplace being a major driver. High definition TV and digital recording at home are important drivers, but increasingly a major driver of the digital home is the electronic gaming and MP3 marketplace. The devices have become more than just a video game or a portable audio experience, with integration into many different devices and vehicles, and the addition of video to the MP3 devices.

BBC News: On-demand game services offered via cable, satellite and broadband TV is likely the be the next big thing and there is also an opportunity for the next-generation consoles to become the hub for a digital home. Incorporating online game play with HD movie playback and connectivity to PCs, digital cameras and other devices, the games console could take centre stage in the living room, according to a study by the Consumer Electronic Association.

Internet News: The prediction here is that we’ll finally see some interesting designs for home PCs based on the Viiv spec, which includes Microsoft’s Multimedia Windows Media Center Edition software. Certainly we’ve come a long way from the Web TV fiasco, but 2006 will not be the year consumers flock en masse to get a Viiv in their living room. Why bother when all the fun’s in the den where the new Xbox 360, or even PlayStation 3 when it ships this spring, reside? Built-in surround sound, slick design, the latest Intel dual-core processors, remote-control access, and other nice touches, such as QuickResume, will attract a healthy niche of early adopters for Viiv.

Tomorrow: Search and Online Advertising

TECH TALK 2006 Tech Trends+T

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.