Smart TV Trends For 2012
Up until now, what we’ve been calling smart TVs are basically TVs with internet connections that offer some variation of content apps. So instead of a set-top-box that brings you Pandora, Netflix and YouTube, the features are built into the TV.
I like that—saves me the trouble of hooking up another box and losing another remote, but it’s not smart. The TVs aren’t doing anything special, anything different. They’re not changing how I interact with them. They’re not communicating with other devices, they’re not changing anything about the way I experience TV other than offering me more things to watch or listen to.
At this month’s CES we saw a variety of new approaches to the smart TV category that are advancing us beyond the basic experience of sitting in a chair and letting entertainment happen in front of us.
- LG Magic remote Adds Speech
LG took overhauled the remote control last year with the Magic Motion remote (now simply called the Magic Remote) that worked similarly to a Wii controller—point and click. Now LG has added a microphone to the remote so you can give it commends verbally. The best feature I saw was the ability to make social media posts via voice command. Rather than type (or hunt and click) out your comments on the new episode of Walking Dead Jersey Shore Edition, you can just speak your post into the mic, and it’s appears on Twitter or Facebook.
- Samsung Face and Speech Interface
Imagine walking into a room, turning on the TV, and it instantly recognizes you, know that it’s time for your favorite show, and turns it on. We’ll, we’re not there yet, but we’re getting closer. Samsung’s facial recognition feature—appearing in some of it’s smart TV products this year, will allow each family member to create a profile and launch the profile by simply recognizing the person’s face. The individual profile can log onto your social media accounts, launch a favorite channel list and probably more. Adding speech recognition makes it even sweeter. Want to change the channel, just yell out “Hi TV, channel up.” or something like that.
- Google TV (LG and Sony—with new remote)
Google TV is back, with new partners in the form of LG and VIZIO and continued partnership with Sony. No news on a Samsung Google TV product yet, but that company already has its hands full with a new gesture control feature.
When Google TV first launched, it looked to redefine the smart TV (a term that didn’t exist then) category by offering better integration of the internet and TV experiences. It did that, and now with an interface update, new ARM processor, and lower price, the system could possibly make a significant impact on the market.
- Panasonic Space
A good amount of the focus around smart TVs this year is going to involve social integrations—getting people to interact with their TVs rather than just watch them. Panasonic is coming out with a platform that integrates the social site Myspace with TV viewing and music sharing. Myspace TV will allow users to remotely converse with friends while watching TV shows, movies, sports and other programs.
Initial channels on Myspace TV will be music-focused, but will expand beyond music, to encompass movies, news, sports and reality channels. The service will launch in the first half of 2012 on VIERA Connect TVs.
Myspace is inviting a select audience to participate in the beta launch of its TV service through a fully integrated experience on laptop devices. To be considered for invitation, entertainment fans can submit their information at http://www.myspace.com/tv.
Related: Adds Speech, ARM, CES, control, iPhone, LG, music, Netflix, news, Panasonic Space, TV, VIZIO smart tv trend, smart tv trends, tv trends 2012, hdtv trends 2012, smart TV trends 2012, television trends 2012, trend smart home technology