Home Networking Spreads Round Globe

Korean company LG Electronics is exporting its smart home systems to 17 countries, including the UK LG Electronics, one of Korea’s largest firms, is rushing to become a leader in smart home products in untapped markets outside Japan and Korea, according to The Korea Herald.

Home networking services connect different information gadgets, home appliance products and other Internet-based applications. LG predicts that the total market value of the market will amount to 360bn US Dollars (£222.54bn) in 2005.

The number of countries to which LG exports its home network systems reached 17 this year, and includes Belgium, Greece, Taiwan, India, Canada, Russia, United Arab Emirates and Israel. Last year, LG exported the products only to the United Kingdom, Mexico, the United States, Spain and Australia, said the report.

Among the first products from LG is the GR-D267DTU Internet Refrigerator, complete with an LCD touchscreen and audio speakers, which can surf the Net, access email and even play MP3s. Although the fridge is too expensive to sell widely at 19,999 US Dollars (£7,047.49), this maiden attempt by LG signals the company’s interest in network appliances.

Recently, Korean authorities announced plans to build 165,000 square metre industrial cluster in Korea’s South Kyongsang Province to house companies that are conducting research and development into home networking products and standards…. Authorities will sink in 480bn US Dollars won (£250m) into the project over the next five years, of which 300bn won will be borne by the central government and South Kyongsang provincial government.

In Japan, electronics giants like Sharp, Toshiba, Hitachi have already banded together to create standards for linking networked home appliances. More recently, Panasonic has said it plans to start selling a “smart home” system that — among other features — lets users control household appliances through mobile phones.

In Singapore, the Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore in January commissioned a Sm experiment to conduct trials of smart home technologies in more than 400 households. This project is supported by 32 local and international companies including electronics makers like Philips and LG, as well as application developers and systems integrators.

Last month, the smart home appliance field got a boost when Microsoft became one of eight new companies to join the Internet Home Alliance (IHA), a group committed to promoting the connected home. The IHA brings together companies from a wide variety of sectors — including kitchen appliance makers, software vendors, and hardware companies — to conduct tests of wired rooms involving real consumers.

Visit LG Home Networking HERE.

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