The Economist

Friday, February 26, 2010

Home sweet passive home

But survey work done by Parks Associates, a market-research company based in Dallas, Texas, suggests that only 15-20% of consumers are willing to sign up for such “time-of-use” or “demand response” programmes. And 35% of customers say they would not allow the utility to control thermostats in their homes at any price. Intriguingly, though, the survey also shows that over 80% of households would pay up to $100 for cost-saving equipment if it chopped at least 10% off their monthly more

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Apples for couch potatoes

In this area Apple's reputation for making things easy to use gives it an advantage. Moving digital content—photographs, music, videos—from computers to television sets is “the crux of it all”, says Kurt Scherf of Parks Associates, a consultancy. Technology giants such as Microsoft, Sony and Cisco sell products that do it, but are so fiddly that hardly anyone bothers. Apple's new box, if it works as billed, promises to be different: it has a tiny and simple remote control, with more

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The ultimate marketing machine

The problem is obvious. The television room may be empty. Its owners may have gone to the kitchen to make a cup of tea or to the toilet. They may have switched channels during the commercial break, be napping or talking on the telephone. The viewer may be a teenage girl, even though the advertisement promotes Viagra. It might even be a TiVo or other such device that records the show so that the owner can watch it later and skip through the commercials. Parks Associates, a consum more

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Science fiction?

Believers in this future point to encouraging statistics. Parks Associates, a research firm in Texas that specialises in the digital home (and which organised the conference at which Mr Burke gave his keynote address) surveyed a group of internet users and found that 84% of them use their PCs to store digital photos, 59% to store music, 36% for video clips and 26% for personal videos. If one includes devices other than PCs—such as TiVo, a popular digital video recorder—17% also more

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Life in the vault

Companies are fighting to turn your home into an entertainment multiplex. On June 21st, Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, launched two new lines of chips, code-named Grantsdale and Alderwood, which it says are the “most compelling” changes to the way personal computers (PCs) work in “over a decade”. From here on, claims Intel, PCs will be “all-in-one hi-fi devices”, “entertainment PCs”, and “vaults” for digital content...

Only 32% of American households with internet acc more

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