BitTorrent to Appear in Electronics

BitTorrent continued its efforts to separate itself from its illicit file-sharing roots by announcing a new initiative to incorporate the technology into consumer electronic products. ASUS, Planex, and QNAP are among the first companies to license the technology.

The BitTorrent download manager would be integrated into devices, allowing content to be retrieved, stored and played back. Products including routers, media servers, and network attached storage devices would incorporate the technology.

Having such products would negate the need for a PC to download content, BitTorrent says. The company points to the growing amount of legitimate content on the service that makes such an offering a worthwhile option to manufacturers.

"While already synonymous with efficient file delivery, BitTorrent is extending our reach beyond the PC and into a number of products and services to further strengthen the bridge between content and devices," president and co-founder Ashwin Navin said.

Parks Associates analyst Harry Wang says that integrating content delivery options into consumer electronics is becoming increasingly important. The group estimates some 30 million households will have an entertainment network by 2010.

"To move beyond the early-adopter stage, CE manufacturers must ally with content and service providers, software developers and silicon designers to build elegance and usability into the product design and bring popular digital content to consumers' fingertips anywhere in the home," Wang said.

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