The next tectonic shift in consumer technology will be televised.
We all know Apple under the stewardship of Steve Jobs (Leonardo Da Vinci of consumer technology) has been the innovator in chief in the world of personal technology. Apple’s ground-breaking products have always heralded a new technological churn. Steve Jobs may no longer be at the helm of affairs, but his astounding legacy has ensured that Apple will continue its pioneering role of disruptive innovation
After disrupting the smartphone and personal computing space with path breaking offerings like the iPad and the iPhone, Apple’s next mission is to rev up the humble screen in your dining room. After releasing a dud like the Apple TV, the Silicon Valley giant is hell bent on making things right the second time around. In Walter Issacson’s bestselling biography of the late Apple founder, Steve Jobs was quoted as saying that he has unlocked the means to create the next generation, easy to use television. However Jobs is not alone in his musings as all the other tech companies, worth their weight, are sharpening their knives to take a crack at revolutionizing the idiot box.
Time is ripe for a major television shake up, something that will be brought about by its fusion with the ultimate tech catalyst: the internet. This is rumored to be Apple’s grand vision for its iTV, which in all likelihood will be an web integrated device that will not only enable the consumers to watch or browse any content at their discretion, but will also allow them to download all the latest apps and games. Skype calls, editing photos or accessing online video sharing websites like the YouTube will also be possible at the mere click of a remote.
However it is time to shake out of our reverie and stop drooling about the future. Because some of these features mentioned above are already a reality, with traditional as well as non-traditional companies like Google launching a host of new products that are destined to the shape the future outlook of television, five, ten or fifteen years down the line.
However tech addicts in all likelihood will not have to wait for an inordinate amount of time to experience something new. In the last month’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), consumer electronics bellwether event, held in Vegas, a wide array of groundbreaking products were unveiled which offered a tantalizing glimpse to the future of television. Seamless integration with the web which allows an user to use it as a personal computer, evolutionary enhancements which are controllable by voice commands and gestures, something which was till now stuff of science fiction and James Bond movies (remember Minority Report) are a few of the radically different features which will definitely usher in a golden era of technologically augmented television.
In the last decade although we witnessed a mainstream shift into newer display formats (LCD/ Plasma) which were undoubtedly sleeker and pleasing to the eye, TV’s functionality in essence did not change. It remained a device where people watched preprogrammed content. These plain vanilla features are meant for a major overhaul as television is poised to evolve into a more dynamic and interactive device.
LG 4mm Smart TV
Lighter, Sleeker, Faster And Better .
The battle lines are drawn as companies vie with each other to become the torchbearers of this revolution. Not wanting to be left behind Korean behemoths like Samsung and LG (for whom television is bread and butter) unveiled two stunning products in the CES, which managed to hog all the limelight. LG’s offering was a 4mm thick. inch 55 inch ultra thin OLED TV. Yeah you read it right; it is actually 4mm thin which means the 55 inch TV is actually slimmer than your cellphone. On the top of that you have the gorgeous OLED technology with amazing colour popping display, which is recently used in smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S2. It is the first time that this technology has been stretched on a broader screen and the result frankly looks incredible. Till date television manufacturers have been tom toming the “life like” picture quality of their products. Those days are over as the pictures you will see on this amazing product, will be actually better than real life.
If LG does something new, can Samsung be far behind? Samsung’s resounding salvo was their own 55 inch super OLED TV. Although the product is twice as thick as that of LG’s and Samsung uses a slightly different variant of the OLED technology, the results are still mindboggling. Add to it the “Smart Interaction” technology which lets you change channels by a simple “swipe” gesture and a voice linked search function that enables you find video results of your favorite show on the net, by simply calling out the show’s name.
Sony Google Tv
With increasing digitization of media content, embedded search capability in TV and cloud based libraries, seller driven pre- programmed content will soon become a relic. Waiting for your favorite show to be aired is a major inconvenience which will be done away with if Google has its way. The search engine behemoth believes video –on-demand and web integration holds the future of TV and if Google TV becomes operational the current television model where TV executives and advertisers determine the type and the timing of the content you watch, will be completely dismantled. With google’s embedded software you will have access to a vast assortment of web based channels from which you can cherry pick.
This unique service was launched in US last year but because of various constraints failed to live up to its hype of a game changer. It also tanked commercially. However, this year Google is back for a second innings and it is receiving heavy backing from television bigwigs like LG and Sony.