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New gadgets moving us closer to a universally connected world

By 2014 there will be more than one billion Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) enabled devices in our lives. These products will facilitate wireless digital media transfers across a diverse range of consumer electronics products from a wide number of consumer electronics brands.

Makers of consumer products such as mobile phones, Blu-Ray players, TVs, laptops, games consoles and PCs are starting to integrate the technology into their devices.

DLNA is a standard that has been adapted by around 250 brands. It enables consumers to share and use multimedia files such as videos, documents, music and photos on compatible stand alone devices.

A September 13 report on DLNA-enabled devices by market researcher In-Stat shows that handsets, PCs and digital TVs will make up 74 percent of the DLNA market.

While DLNA-enabled PCs, TVs and mobile phones remain a popular choice for the technology, digital photo frames will be the fastest growing product category. In-Stat predicts more than 33 million DLNA-enabled digital photo frames to ship in 2014 (up from less than 1 million units in 2009).

"Including DLNA in Windows 7 is a key market driver," says Norm Bogen, In-Stat analyst.

"However, adoption of UPnP and DLNA is broader than just PCs. Handsets and digital televisions join PCs as the product segments that will see significant increases in total annual DLNA shipments over the next 5 years."

Despite the rapidly growing number of universally connected devices appearing on today's market, consumers are largely unaware of the technology and the benefits it can offer them.

Only 6 percent of consumers admitted to being "very or somewhat familiar with DLNA," said In-Stat.