Electronic Design

Industry Group Hopes To Promote Internet Lifestyle

A dozen large companies, including high-tech and retail firms, have formed the Internet Home Alliance. Its self-stated mission is to enhance "consumers' understanding, appreciation, and adoption of the Internet lifestyle." This group plans to invigorate the market by promoting industry communication and aiding in the development of an entire Internet lifestyle ecosystem, from device manufacturers to retailers.

The Internet lifestyle is defined by the use of technology to enhance daily living. "Through a variety of home technology products and services," the organization says, "the Internet lifestyle provides personal safety and privacy, saves time, and increases work/life balance." It is the alliance's goal to enable this lifestyle by connecting consumers to this technology more easily.

Founding companies include Best Buy Co., Cisco Systems Inc., Comp-USA, General Motors, Honeywell, Invensys, Motorola, the New Power Company, Panasonic (Matsushita Electric Corporation of America), Sears Roebuck and Co., Sun Microsystems, and 3Com. Each founder has donated $2.5 million to the project. Contributors also include Reliant Energy and Texas Instruments. Bill Kenney, vice president for strategy, home, and online services at Sears Roebuck, will serve as the organization's president.

Working together to define critical industry stumbling blocks, the group encourages others to join the effort to minimize barriers that currently inhibit the mass consumer adoption of Internet lifestyle solutions. The group believes market fragmentation, consumer and industry confusion, and the availability and complexity of home technology solutions all affect the adoption rate of these solutions.

The alliance will work with industry associations and ecosystem partners to further the distribution and adoption of Internet solutions by consumers. Applications include streaming audio/video for entertainment and learning, energy and security monitoring, remote diagnostics, personal and family communication, and simultaneous Internet access from multiple computers or Internet appliances. As the foundation of the Internet lifestyle, the organization believes in the ability of these applications to provide comfort, convenience, and security to consumers.

For more details about the group, go to www.internethomealliance.com.

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