Denso, the automotive electronics supplier with close ties to Toyota, has signed an agreement to buy $25.4 million worth of stock in the Sharp consumer electronics company. Denso says that the goal is to create new technologies that “improve the comfort, safety and convenience of vehicles by integrating vehicle technologies with home electronic technologies.”
Gartner Inc. analyst Thilo Koslowski described potential benefits of integrating home and car electronics, suggesting things like infotainment that follows you from home to car and vice versa. Automated home functions could be made more intelligent, knowing when you have left or are about to arrive. “There are multiple ways of doing this, including things turning off when you leave because the car will communicate that it’s leaving your house. There are definitely some scenarios that have to do with smart home automation where you can automate certain functions.”
“This is an attempt by Denso to be prepared for what the future will bring. Companies need to figure out what that means once we have connectivity established in the automotive industry within cars. What is the next frontier?,” Koslowski said. “That is going to be other environments outside the automobile, other industries outside of automotive that actually will have to come together. I think that’s where Denso is taking innovative lead by saying we want to be part of this, at least in small steps.”
Denso supplies advanced technology, systems and components for thermal, powertrain control, electronics and safety. According to the Automotive News, Denso is the second biggest supplier in the industry. Toyota Motor Corp. owns 23 percent of Denso. Sharp builds home electronics such as televisions along with appliances and presentation and display products, like the touch panels for Apple’s iPhones. The stock purchase represents a little more than a half percent stake in Sharp, which has a current market capitalization of more than $4.5 billion.