I'm using televisions for two purposes: to watch TV or media like DVD or Blu-Ray movies, and to play games on gaming systems like the Playstation 3 or the Xbox 360. I'm not doing that a lot though but now people who have the TV turned on all day long even if they do not watch actively.
TVs have not changed much in regards to functionality they provide in the last couple of decades. It is different technology-wise though, you got better resolutions and comfortable options built into TVs these days, but that is not a game changer.
Companies like Apple, Google or Samsung believe that it is time to update televisions to turn them into hubs that you use for a variety of purposes. While I'm not really sold yet on the idea yet, companies began to announce that they are working on a new wave of interactive TVs.
Samsung for instance announced that it would unveil its Evolution Kit at CES 2013 which is a small box you connect to the TV to add a variety of capabilities to it. The majority of features seem to be connected to the Internet in one way or the other. Users of the TV can now use apps while watching TV or use the TV to communicate via Skype or other messaging apps.
Apple too is working on revolutionizing the TV industry and while no one knows what the company plans to reveal in the near future, many think that Apple TVs will offer a better user experience and integrated iOS apps. This may include options to control the TV via voice for instance, using the infamous Siri, and to control the TV with Apple devices.
Google on the other hand has not revealed plans to manufacturer TVs. The company does however make available its Google TV box and technology, and it is likely that improvements will be made as well in 2013.
Microsoft on the other hand has already a large user base thanks to its Xbox system which the company turned from pure gaming into an entertainment machine. The next installment of the console is expected to be delivered in 2013 and it will be interesting to see what it adds to the tablet.
I'm not a prime customer for these technologies as I have days and sometimes even weeks without turning on the TV. Adding apps and Internet services to the TV may sound like a great idea for many, for me, it is nothing that I'm interested in as I have my PC for that.
I can see the uses though, and controlling the TV with your voice would definitely be something that could turn out to be really cool, provided that the voice recognition is good enough. Apps my be of interest too, especially games probably but also apps that may provide viewers with additional information that they may find interesting.
What's your take on the next generation of interactive TVs? Is that something you are interested in?
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