Most Consumer Electronics Purchases Preceded by Internet Research – According to a joint study made by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and Yahoo! 75% of CE purchases were influenced by Internet research. The study explored the purchase path for five CE products: cell phones, digital music players, televisions, computers and digital cameras. Time spent researching a product increased as the cost of the product rose. For those who purchased, the average amount of time spent researching online was 12 hours. Users said they liked the Internet because of the ability to compare prices of the same product at different outlets, and they also liked the variety of products offered. While the study found the Internet important, it showed that information-hungry consumers still also use traditional sources to aid their purchases. The majority also made their final purchase at a retail location – not on the Internet.
Consortium Intends to Develop a Wireless HD Standard – A group of electronics giants – including Matsushita, NEC, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba – are collaborating to develop a WirelessHD standard that will be used by the industry for wireless hi-def AV streaming technology, eliminating cables connecting TVs and AV gear. The group wants to use the unlicensed 60 GHz frequency band to stream uncompressed HD data for HDTVs, DVD players, video camcorders and game units. They expect transmission coverage to extend up to 30 feet within a room. The hope is for WirelessHD to give consumers wireless flexibility and ease of use while preserving the popular wired alternatives such as HDMI.
What Is Bluetooth? – Another wireless technology, this one for audio, has been around since its invention in 1994, and is increasingly appearing in consumer electronics. Bluetooth is most commonly used to link cell phones to headsets or a handsfree kit, and is also used in wireless stereo headphones. There are Bluetooth mice, new cars are shipping with Bluetooth, and some GPS receivers hook up to a PDA using Bluetooth. There are even sunglasses with a Bluetooth earpiece built in. There are several different versions of the wireless technology, with 2.0 being the latest and most advanced. In order to use Bluetooth wireless headphones with your digital player or computer, it must support Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP). The latest Macs come with Bluetooth hardware and software built in.