The consumer market is going through an Internet revolution, which will accelerate over the next 10 years driven by key applications for TVs and cellular phones that will become the digital glue holding everything together.
The home PC has up till now been an island of interactivity removed from daily life, but over the next five to ten years the Net will become more pervasive, driven largely by consumer devices, according to Sean Kaldor, IDC?s vice president of marketing and technology at the market research company?s IDC Directions 99 conference in San Francisco this week.
?Devices in the home such as interactive TV and interactive video recorders, will add to the Internet and each will be adapted in their own unique way. While the US market for PC consumer desktops will continue to grow strong and steady to one billion units by 2002, information appliances will outstrip demand in the home and this will spread the benefits of the Internet to everyone,? he said.
He continued: ?There?ll be massive deployments of interactive services and while I don?t think people will use their TV to browse the Web, they will use the Internet overtly or otherwise.?
While 54 per cent of US homes have more than three TVs, another 1.5 per cent are already running active, intelligent local area networks, and this will increase to 12 per cent or 23 million by 2002.
Some 55 per cent also have access to digital networks, which will increase to 80 per cent in two years, and this means that the necessary infrastructure to take advantage of the new Internet economy is already starting to emerge.
According to Kaldor, key socalled interactivity applications are Yellow Pages, address books and access to IP telephony on screen phones, interactive programme guides for TV, video on demand, telemedicine, home banking and online education.
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