The digital home is where PCs, consumer electronics, and mobile devices seamlessly connect and share digital content together over a wired or wireless network - regardless of manufacturer.
Every home is becoming increasingly rich in digital content and every user has their own individual way of managing that content. For example, one user might choose to view a family movie or slideshow on TV, while another might prefer to watch it on their Smartphone instead.
Problems arise when users want to store and share their digital content between multiple computers and among different rooms within the home. And they do not wish to be restricted to one device manufacturer.
Consumers today want to acquire, view, and manage different amounts and types of digital content from consumer electronic, mobile, and PC devices. They want to do this simply and conveniently, irrespective of the manufacturer behind the technology. They also want it to work across different devices and locations in the home.
This sophistication of consumer demand is fuelled by the popularity of digital media and IP networking, worldwide adoption of broadband connections, and growing number wired and wireless home networks – supported by rising sales in digital devices.
Such consumer demands present great opportunities for manufacturers who design products that comply with the universal standard of interoperability.
To secure consumer trust and ensure digital products from different manufacturers work together, manufacturers must address these three basic consumer demands:
1. Products need to be easy to install and manage, providing obvious user value
2. Products should be affordable
3. Products must communicate with each other as well as with existing devices n the home
The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA™) brings together a number of device manufacturers, including Buffalo Technology, Microsoft, Intel, Nokia, Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba and Pioneer to actively support and promote interoperability guidelines or a universal standard for digital products. For the consumers, this means their PC, mobile or consumer electronic products can work seamlessly together, regardless of the manufacturer, making the vision of a digital home a reality.
What does it mean for manufacturers?
Can companies afford to stifle the development of the digital home by restricting consumers to a single manufacturer? The answer is: they cannot.
To expect consumers to buy all of their digital devices from a single manufacturer is not only narrow-minded, but also unrealistic. No one manufacturer can claim to specialise in every component of the digital home, be it mobile phones, DVD players, cameras or radios.
It is vital that companies designing and developing digital technology recognise the opportunities that DLNA™ guidelines offer. This is how:
- Make devices DLNA™-compliant and interoperable
By developing DLNA™-compliant products, manufacturers are allowing their existing and future customers to “mix and match” devices so that the DVD player from one company will be compatible with another manufacturer's High Definition TV (HDTV).
- Be part of the future digital home
All manufacturers should design products to meet the rising consumer demand for a truly digital home.