Each month, we collect miscellaneous happenings, studies, trends or observations you might have missed. This month's briefs focus on Wi-Fi in your car, TiVo's product purchase feature, and more.
No Refuge--Wi-Fi In Your Car
The word "incommunicado" may soon be obsolete. All those last safe bastions are crumbling as communications and Internet access worm their ways into places like airplanes, boats, railroads, and buses.
In the latest indication of this unstoppable trend,Mopar, US automaker Chrysler's parts division, has started enabling Internet capability in cars. The Mopar car cellular/Wi-Fi hot spot is compatible with 2009 Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles as well as earlier models. The $499 hot spot, called UConnect Web, creates an EV-DO cellular connection that is then converted to Wi-Fi so that many passengers in the car can get secure Web access on their laptops, video game devices and other equipment. ( www.mopar.com )
TiVo, the Advertiser's Friend?
TiVo has introduced a "product purchase" feature, in partnership with Amazon.com. During TV shows, users will see links in TiVo's onscreen menus, allowing purchase of products that guests are promoting on shows like “Oprah Winfrey". If a viewer chooses to buy an advertised item during a broadcast, TiVo records the rest of the program so the viewer can return to it. They will also be able to save intended purchases in their Amazon account and complete the transaction later. ( www.tivo.com )
In this report we have previously covered powerline communications as an alternate mechanism for broadband access. In North America, the most substantive impact of PLC will be on "smart meter" and "smart grid" applications--smart meters in people's homes communicate with the utility, and could also provide consumers with information about power consumption and enable them to control it. The US Senate and House have passed measures as part of their energy reform bills to provide for accelerated depreciation of investments in these technologies. While the use of PLC as a broadband alternative has faded, it is still playing a role in US rural areas and in many countries outside the US.
Cybermanor was winner of this year's Windows Media Center Ultimate Install Contest, which features creative installations that leverage Windows Media Center technologies.( www.cybermanor.com )
Broadband In Asia
Broadband subscribers in Asia are expected to grow by more than 31 percent, reaching 171M by end of 2008, according to Frost&Sullivan. ( www.frost.com )