Television makers are pushing consumers to buy high-end TV sets that boast of 3D technology and internet capabilities, not to mention the promise of clear, crisp and rich displays. Those TVs cost hundreds, some, even thousands of dollars. And the problem with those so-called Smart TVs is that, even if they say that you can use your mobile device as a second screen or as your TVs remote, most of the offerings aren’t what they claim.
There’s another issue with Smart TVs and connected devices–whether or not people are ready to use their smartphone or tablet as their TV remote. Or as a second screen to watch their fave shows? According to Andy Eardley, director and co-founder of the TV App Agency, to effectively make the transition to Smart TVs is by helping consumers realize that their mobile device is a companion device. This means their TV-watching experience will only be enhanced when they use it with their TV. This could be a golden marketing opportunity for broadcasters.
BBC, for one, is said to be developing such a trend by creating and deploying apps for each of their shows, such as the Antique Roadshow, wherein users will be able to join ‘guess the value’, compare scores with others, and have the “ability to go beyond broadcast to find out more about the antiques featured in the programme, with exclusive content and information drawn from across BBC Online and trusted sources from the wider web.”
But despite the BBC’s best efforts, there’s another problem with SmartTVs and their companion devices: compatibility. Kontrol.tv MOVL, the startup that’s been developing dual-screen mobile and TV applications over the past years, developed Kontrol.tv to streamline the user experience across various screens regardless of the brand or the operating system used. Kontrol.tv consists of numerous APIs for that to happen, ranging from “APIs for connecting various TVs to each other in the cloud, a direct-connect API for streaming media from a mobile device to the TV, and several others for managing users in various apps and rooms.”
The point is, app development would be easier without worrying about different screen sizes. As for users, they just need a TV and a mobile device that supports Kontrol.tv, such as Google TV and Samsung connected TVs. Soon, there will be more brands supported such as LG, Toshiba, Sony, Phillips, and Sharp. If you don’t have any of the mentioned devices, you can test Kontrol.tv here. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play.
Indeed, the internet is invading every aspect of our lives, whether it be our mobile devices, gaming consoles, vehicles and even home appliances. I’m not really sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but the technology involved in connecting these devices has helped make our lives much easier, the downside being our growing dependence on them.
Because more devices can connect to the internet, more data is being generated and as Oracle’s president, Mark Hurd, pointed out, it is possible that in the coming years, there could be a big data explosion that no one knows what to do with, control, manage, secure, analyze and exploit. He calls for agencies and even the government to, as early as now, take control of the situation, before we all drown in the big data tsunami.