HP officially marked its move “out of the office and into the living room” by showcasing its wares to journalists at a swish apartment in Sydney earlier this month. While digital photography seems to be at the centre of its initial push into the AV/IT convergence space, who knows where it could end.
General manager of HP’s imaging and printing group, Rebekah O’Flaherty, highlighted four areas of technology within the new products showcased on the day.
These were the eight-ink photo printing of the HP photosmart 7960, which she said would enable consumers to print studio quality images at home; the Adaptive Light Technology (ALT) of the photosmart 945 digital camera, which preserves contrast and lighting; the InterVideo Home Theatre software on its Pavilion PCs and notebooks, which provides a centralised home entertainment platform; and Image Zone software, which lets consumers do anything from downloading and archiving to red-eye reduction and slide shows without having to switch between software applications.
“It’s tough from a consumer point of view because there are lots of disparate technologies in the convergence of IT and AV that need someone to put them together,” O’Flaherty said.
“Consumer electronics has done a good job of interoperability but it has not been so good in IT. We need to help consumers with the migration from analog to digital by making technology that is fun and easy to use.
“The digital lifestyle is not about doing the same thing with different devices, it’s about doing different things.”
HP invested $1.2 billion last year on establishing its presence in the convergence space, according to O’Flaherty. She said it had 5000 retailers around Australia set up to sell its consumer products.
As reported in ARN last week, HP will probably add branded televisions to its product lines within the next five years, according to its vice-president of its Personal Systems Group, Jim McDonnell. In the mean time, the name badges on pieces of equipment supplied by other vendors — including Sony, Panasonic and Pioneer — were covered with gaffer tape during the digital living room presentation.