Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Upside for Connected Consumer Electronics

Consumer demand for digital media and online content will push worldwide annual sales of connected consumer electronics (CE) to more than 100 million units by 2013, according to the lates study by Parks Associates.

The market for connected CE includes networked TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, home media servers, and set-top boxes. Through network and Internet connections, these devices can access and display home network content such as photos and music and retrieve online content such as widgets, games, and video from Hulu and YouTube.

"Key consumer trends are aligning to drive this market," said Kurt Scherf , vice president, principal analyst, Parks Associates.

People want whole-home access to their personal content, which will increase the storage needs of the average U.S. household to a terabyte. At the same time, consumers are very interested in bringing Internet content to the television.

For devices to offer a compelling value proposition, they will have to feature connectivity within the home network and to the services coming to the home. Diverse user scenarios create multiple challenges for technology developers, according to Scherf, including interface design as well as connectivity.

"Connected CE use cases will include access to many different services and types of content, including video, gaming, user-generated content, music, social networks, and customer care," Scherf said.

Interface design will be an important area as users will need easy access to their content and services. Simplicity by design -- a lasting point of differentiation -- removing the complexity from both device configuration and operation.