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Web-enabled lamp casts light on IPv6

Quite why you'd want your table lamp to be online is another matter
Written by CNET Networks, Contributor

Quite why you'd want your table lamp to be online is another matter

Japan-based electronics maker Matsushita Electric has cast some light on next-generation IPv6 home appliances with a new web-enabled desk lamp. The appliance integrates Matsushita's EMIT (Embedded Micro Internetworking Technology) communication module into the base of a standard 27-watt fluorescent lamp, according to Nikkei Electronics Asia. The lamp sports a RJ-45 modular jack which allows it to be connected to a local area network (LAN). An IPv6 internet address is automatically assigned to the lamp when the LAN cable is plugged in, so users can send remote commands through the network to turn it on and off. Once the command is sent, the lamp can perform the operation even if the web connection is lost because of its built-in EMIT module, said the report. For example, if a user wants the lamp to be switched off in five minutes, it can do so even if the LAN cable is pulled out. Users hoping to lay their hands on the new IPv6-based web appliance will have to wait as the trial device will not be produced for the mass market. There are only five of these lamps in the world, Matsushita was quoted as saying. IPv6 is the much-touted successor to IPv4, the underlying technology behind all communications on the Internet today. When a computer or PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) is connected to the internet at present, an IPv4 internet address is assigned to the device, allowing it to be recognised on the web. However, in light of ballooning internet penetration rates and the availability of new fixed and wireless web devices - from smart table lamps to washing machines - IPv4 addresses are expected to run out in the next two years. The new IPv6 technology is mooted to alleviate this shortage by increasing the address space from 32 bits to 128 bits, allowing a much larger number of devices to be online. By CNET Asia reporters
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