Pioneer Heads for Where the Action Is

Last week, Pioneer North America announced plans to open the newest addition to its North American operation: Pioneer Research Center USA (referred to as PRA), which the company describes as a new research-and-development unit. Pioneer says that PRA will open in San Jose, California on July 5 and will develop both digital television and digital network technologies to be incorporated into audio-video products sold primarily in the US market.

According to Pioneer, the launch of PRA is an integral part of the company's "Vision 2005 Corporate Initiatives," which were unveiled nearly two years ago. In the company's plans for up to the year 2005 and beyond, Pioneer identified digital network entertainment as one of four essential business domains on which to focus.

Pioneer says that by having an R&D facility in the heart of Silicon Valley, the company is now in a key position to capitalize on the latest developments in digital network standard setting, and have available the latest components to work from. Pioneer's Kazunori Yamamoto says that "it is a significant milestone in our North American operations that we have this R&D unit in Silicon Valley, which is widely recognized to be the center of the most up-to-date technologies. This R&D company represents Pioneer's commitment to be a frontrunner in developing digital technologies and make them accessible to American consumers in a user-friendly manner."

PRA says it will also work closely with the other Pioneer Electronics companies in North America to identify market opportunities that can gain wide consumer acceptance in those technologies that are most important for digital network entertainment devices. Initially, PRA claims that it will focus on developing software that will interface with DTV and digital cable TV, helping to make digital television a centerpiece in digital entertainment.