New look Philips plugs into broadband

Not-so humble webpad hails a new wave of WiFi-enabled products, designed to make the connected home a reality at last.

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By  Justin Etheridge Published  April 7, 2003

Philips has unveiled a new ‘smart’ display system, dubbed DesXcape, the first in a series of products designed to make the connected home a reality. A fully equipped LCD monitor when docked in its base station, the DesXcape roars into life as a wireless platform when detached. It’s built on the 802.11b (WiFi) wireless networking standard and Windows XP operating system.

Holding centre stage at CeBIT 2003, Gerard Kleisterlee, CEO, Philips, explained the new range of Philips products will at last deliver on the concept of connectivity: “Broadband take-up is, of course, the key to this vision of the very near future... And the news is very, very good. By 2005 it’s predicted that 80% of homes in South Korea, 40% of homes in US, and 30% of homes in Europe will have broadband access.”

Via a wireless connection to your PC, the DesXcape provides remote access to e-mail, instant messaging and financial information. Less work-minded types might pull up a recipe on the Internet, or browse the match reports from the comfort of your sofa.

Weighing 2.4 kg, it offers a wireless range of 50 metres indoors, 100 metres outside.

“Five years ago it cost $130 to embed an internet connection in a TV set,” added Kleisterlee. “For consumers, pricing is becoming accessible. By 2005 it will cost less than $5.”

An Intel XScale processor, designed for portable use, solves the issue of performance versus longevity, long the Achilles heel of mobile devices. It is rumoured that the DesXcape will cost approx $1600.

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