Jan 8, 2012
CES is just under way and Sony and Samsung have already announced plug-and-play solutions to update your television. These updates expand the functionality of your otherwise passive television experience to include on-demand content pulled from the web as well as apps.
Sony’s solution comes on the form of a second generation Google TV. Both Logitech and Sony have attempted early releases of Google’s “lean-back” project previously, but with a new interface atop the Google Android underpinnings, this new product is looking like a mature offering for a wide audience.
Samsung has also announced a set-top solution with the inTouch. inTouch, also Android based, offers non-internet enabled televisions applications to access popular web content like YouTube and a shallow pool of widget-like apps with content from Google. Adding additional functionality to the inTouch is an HD camera that provide Skype access. A device like this would be ideal for the family hoping to extend the utility of the family television as an information and tele-communications center.
Why start talking about this now? The living room is changing and these devices are at the heart of that change. People are already using their smart phones, tablets, and laptops to participate in social media and interact with others while watching popular television and sports events. The connected television will allow viewers to change from passive engagement with shows and online personalities to truly interactive content and material that is truly relevant to the viewer.