Home networking has attracted a great deal of interest at this year's Comdex with vendors touting the idea that phone lines, power lines and wireless devices can all work together to ensure that consumers can communicate with each other from anywhere.
Vendors, however, have moved away from the idea of networking 'white goods' such as fridges, toasters and microwaves and have instead focused on connecting consumer electronics products such as phones, cameras and home entertainment kit.
Top of the agenda for enabling portability around the home has been wireless technology and consumers can now carry Web pads around the home to access the Internet and send email.
Lucent and National Semiconductor, for example, have come up with Internet pads to enable users to communicate and organise their day from any room in the house.
The HomeRF (Radio Frequency) Working Group is also demoing how wireless offerings can work with fixed wire home networking products on the Comdex show floor.
But Bluetooth, which uses low level radio signals to connect devices together, is selling the idea of interoperability to woo consumers. In future, all Bluetooth products will have to go through an interoperability test to cerrtify that they work together.
It is estimated that well over 8 million US homes will be networked within the next two years, although many industry watchers believe this to be a conservative estimate.
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