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The problem with all this new technology is that us geeks don’t account for the rest of the population. So, what we think is cool and something that should catch on, might not be what the rest of the population wants. Example, I’m wiring my new home so I can control it from anywhere in the world… why? Because, I can and wall switches are old technology. Now, I’m not going to remove the traditional wall switches (you need them for the less techy people), but instead use smart switches that can communicate with my lighting controller. Having a simple to use wireless web-based ‘wall switch’ makes more sense to me — heck, the house should know where I’m at and turn on lights based on my activities automatically. Anyways… I can go on for hours about this topic… I came across a report from Ipsos-Insight, a global market research firm and they are reporting the following statistics:

Nearly three out of four (72%) U.S. consumers say they are interested in a product that would easily connect their home entertainment systems to the Internet – commonly referred to as a “Digital Den” – according to results from a survey among 1,000 American adults. However, they also found that most consumers are concerned about the time and knowledge required to set up a Digital Den system, as well as compatibility issues with equipment they already own. So that’s where my home lighting system comes into play… some people might like the idea, but never really care to own one because they think it will be too hard to manage and use.

Digital Den-type products are typically referred to generically as media hubs, wired-Ethernet media players, and wireless digital media players, with product names like Fireball, Soundblaster, Macsense HomePod and Turtle Beach AudioTron At-100, just to name a few. Some products connect stereos with Internet music files, other products link TVs to Internet movie files, and a few do both.

Survey findings suggest that the lack of big consumer and technology brands behind such products creates uncertainty in the minds of consumers. “Low familiarity and confusion are not surprising given that we are still in the early adoption phase of Digital Den-type products,” said Todd Board, Senior Vice President and head of Ipsos-Insight’s Technology & Communications practice.

The Ipsos-Insight findings show that two out of three (64%) U.S. consumers say they are not familiar with home entertainment products that act as a central hub for sharing music, movies, games, and other digital content between home electronic devices and the Internet.

However, among the large bulk of people who expressed an interest in
connecting their home entertainment devices to one central media hub, the
majority (64%) said they anticipate purchasing a Digital Den type product
within the next year, if one is available for a reasonable price. So over all, it’s seems like people are willing to investing in new technologies, but only if they are easy to install and use… which rarely is the case with these types of products. We live in a cruel, cruel world…