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Firms to Set Wireless Appliance Protocol in Japan
Oct 6, 2003
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Some 100 Japanese and foreign firms will team up to draft a wireless communications protocol to enable the operation of multiple digital home appliances, such as television sets and DVD players, with a single remote control, a report said.

The project would use high-speed wireless Internet technology aiming to bring to market in fiscal 2005 appliances that meet this new standard, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper said.

Corporate participants include Japanese electronics giants Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Sharp Corp., NEC Corp. and Sanyo Electric Co. as well as foreign-affiliated firms like Microsoft Co. and IBM Japan Ltd., the report said.

The project will be led by the Communications Research Laboratory under the Telecommunications Ministry, it said.

The ministry will allocate frequencies for Internet-enabled appliances based on the trial results, it said.

These common frequencies and procedures for processing communications signals would make it possible to operate appliances made by different manufacturers via the same remote control, the Nihon Keizai said.

Previously, Japanese home electronics manufacturers like Toshiba Corp. and Matsushita Electric, known for its National and Panasonic brands, sought to develop a standardized communications protocol based on Bluetooth technology.

But appliances operating under such a standard cannot communicate data at speeds anywhere near those possible under a protocol based on wireless Internet technology, the report said. (Reuters)

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