The vision of the home wireless network is "still a little way off", according to Atheros Communications chief executive Craig Barratt. But a new consortium is hoping to push the technology forward in the next year.

Barratt told Reuters: "Ultimately we will see wireless networks around the house that allow multiple devices to be interconnected."

Wireless fidelity, or Wi-Fi technology, is increasingly being employed to link computers to the Internet and to connect stereos, televisions and PCs in home entertainment networks. One example is Gateway's Connected DVD Player that steams music, photos and videos from a PC to a home-entertainment system. Gateway's system only works one way though - it is not possible to access PC applications like Web browsers from the TV.

Reuters reports that one of the barriers to the networked home is that while digital gadgets communicate easily with PCs, there are no industry-wide standards to let the gadgets communicate with each other.

Now a consortium of microchip, computer and consumer electronic companies has got together to draw some up, and according to Intel's sales and marketing director Jason Chen: "The rules from the task force will be available this year."