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Japan, the crystal ball

March 6, 2003

Anyone in electronics markets can tell you that the US is almost exactly one year behind the Japanese in consumer electronics trends. So for instance, the penetration of mini-dv camcorders in the US is expected to take off soon as it did in Japan a year ago. Another vision from the Asian crystal ball is that the PC will creep off the desk into our walls, into our homes as people consolidate home computing tasks. Your computer can control the thermostat quite easily and inexpensively. Imagine sending an email or a cell phone text message to turn on the heat before heading home. Kids television viewing, home security systems and even pet-feeding can be controlled via PC. This may seem intuitive to some or frightening to others, but it is nonetheless a trend that will continue unless something cataclysmic stops the mighty force of convenience technology R&D.

Only from Japan: a USB cup warmer

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