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Global Companies Devoted to Digital Network

Posted March. 11, 2003 22:31,   


The global electronics companies are busy to go in advance of the age of digital convergence.

Philips of the Netherlands is one of the front-runners of Ubiquitous Network in Europe. The company is fiercely pushing for a plan to digitalize and network products in the catchphrase of ‘Connected Home.’

With a variety of business groups including digital TV, audio, medical devices, semiconductors, and lighting apparatus, Philips recently introduced various Internet appliances in cooperation with Microsoft and Hewlett Packard.

The latest products are Internet Audio and ‘I-fronto,’ a combined remote control that connects all the appliances of a home. The company also forged alliance with Nike to produce a ‘wearable audio,’ which allows users to listen to the CD player while exercising

Toshiba, a Japanese electronics company, is also focusing on developing PDA, mobile PC, broadband network, and home networking, on a basis of the wireless broadband technology. The company is ranked the second or third on the Japanese market of refrigerator and washer, and is taking advantage of its strength in the electronics industry like semiconductors and mobile devices. Recently, it introduced a series of ‘Feminiti,’ that allows outside control of refrigerator, microwave and washer, by loading Bluetooth function, as well as ‘Transcube’ for home network. Users of Transcube can forward moving pictures of TV to a mobile PC, by combining a TV tuner, a video recorder with hard drive, and the connection of high-speed Internet.

The U.S. based General Electrics (GE) is the first to succeed in diversifying the business to other areas like aircraft, medical devices, industrial facilities, and industrial plastics. Sales of home appliances amount to only 8 billion dollars out of the total annual sales of 150 billion dollars. Moreover, half of the total earnings come from the financial section.

Yeon-Su Shin ysshin@donga.com