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Kleisterlee Sees Seamless Tech In Philips’ Future

Convergence, digitalization and the Internet are the three “mega trends” Philips Electronics will use to develop a new generation of consumer electronics products, said Royal Philips Electronics president/CEO Gerard Kleisterlee.

Without going into any specifics on future Philips’ products, Kleisterlee did say they would center on the mega-trends and be tied to areas where the company has established itself: displays, storage and connectivity. The Philips CEO saw these coming together in a world where consumers would control their CE devices through voice recognition software.

This future would be based on a new technology being developed by Philips dubbed Ambient Intelligence, Kleisterlee said. Ambient Intelligence integrates technology into the environment in a seamless fashion. This is done to not only improve the consumer’s ability to control the environment, but improve the overall experience received.

“Ambient Intelligence can increase our time available for experiences. Ambient Intelligence will change the way we live for the better,” he said.

While Kleisterlee spent quite some time in the past and future, he also discussed what Philips’ near-term plans were for several product categories. He said the company’s attempt to become a leader in widescreen televisions in the U.S. market, as it is in Europe, and will support its widescreen offerings with an upcoming marketing campaign. He also threw his support behind Internet Radio, Liquid Crystal on Silicon displays, DVD+RW as a storage medium and SACD. Kleisterlee said the latter product should become a mass market hit this year.

Though stating that Philips’ research and development teams were at the top of their game and would continue to be so, he said the company must go past just developing new technology. Instead Philips must improve its entrepreneurial abilities.

“We will become world-class marketers as we are in research and development,” he said.

Kleisterlee’s keynote address, the first ever by a Philips executive at CES, took the audience from Philips’ roots as a light bulb manufacturer in the 1890s to the year 2020, when Kleisterlee sees a world where audio, communication and other electronic products will be embedded in products not associated CE today. Even clothing may have electronic parts, if the 10-minute fashion show that took place during the address is an indicator of Philips’ potential direction.