Future of the user interface

The TV industry is under threat. As on-demand services grow in popularity, manufacturers should be reaping significant profits. After all, Smart TVs are ideal for connecting viewers with this new world of online content. But today’s consumers are turning to smartphones and tablets rather than Smart TVs. These second screen devices are nipping at the heels of TV manufacturers, dominating consumers’ attention.

Apple’s iPhone and iPad and the current range of Android devices owe their successes to a friendly and accessible user interface. Consumers have spoken with their wallets – they prefer the app-based nature of smartphones and tablets with their easy user interaction. Manufacturers need to extend the same design to Smart TV platforms to stay in the game.

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TV Connect 2013: delivering a casual gaming experience to the masses

This year’s TV Connect demonstrated the importance of TV navigation. From the event, it became clear that the average consumer wants to play games, but they don’t want to invest large sums of money in a dedicated games console.

As many consumers already have Smart TVs or internet-enabled set-top boxes in their homes, these platforms are ideal for delivering a casual gaming experience to the mass market.

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Social TV: the other side of the coin

In my last post, I discussed how Social TV has brought social networking into the living room. But this is only one side of the coin. TV-enhancing applications and social recommendations are also shaping the modern viewing experience, affecting the content consumers watch and how they engage with it. These changes have impacted the TV industry, too, with broadcasters trying to capitalise on the explosion of second screen devices by creating their own companion apps. There are already several services designed for tablets and smartphones that do precisely that; encouraging users to engage with second screen devices while watching TV.

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Social TV: the impact on the TV industry

Today’s viewers are spending more and more time accessing content through smartphones and tablet PCs, and are looking to communicate through social media while they do so. Hashtags now punctuate television shows and viewers are encouraged to engage with broadcast content over Twitter and Facebook. The explosion of second screen devices has even led to users ‘tweeting along’ with live TV, sharing their opinions in real-time.

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Available for download: the Smart TV report – exposing the industry’s dirty little secret

Philips uWand - Smart TV survey report

The data has been collated, the results processed and a variety of charts, graphs and graphics produced.

The Smart TV report we’ve been talking about is now available.

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Who’s using Smart TV’s anyway? [Infographic]

Smart TVs are the latest product being offered to consumers. As a platform designed to bridge the gap between the internet and the living room, it’s widely recognised that this technology is the future of TV. Yet despite the fact Smart TV manufacturers have made online services available, consumers are finding them very difficult to navigate.

The content is there, but it’s not easily accessible.

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Our week at CES: the Philips STB, tech coverage and new partnerships

CES 2013 - Philips uWandAs we finally adjust back to normal after four days of excitement and tech overload at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, now seems like the perfect time to reflect on how Smart TV technology has taken a firm hold on the industry.

Unlike recent years, LTE developments and handset announcements took a backseat at CES 2013, as the focus shifted towards TVs again. Ultra HD, 4K and new ways to connect the living room were all key themes. Several manufacturers also announced plans to improve the user experience by adopting gesture and touch UIs, confirming what we’ve been saying for years – a more intuitive control paradigm is required to navigate Smart TV.

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Smart TVs: the consumer electronics industry’s dirty little secret

The Smart TV secret

Update: The Smart TV report – exposing the TV industry’s dirty little secret – is now available. Click here to download.

On the face of it, things look fine. According to Informa, there will be over 800 million Smart TVs in homes worldwide by the end of 2017. However, only a small percentage of Smart TV owners are actually connecting these new-fangled devices to the internet, and even fewer are regularly making use of the variety of online services available.

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Second screens: kicking off the Smart TV revolution – part 2

Second Screens: The Smart TV revolution - part 2In my last post I discussed the benefits of second screen devices. I also touched on how this technology can supplement the overall experience for the viewer. But, when it comes to navigating content on a Smart TV, a second screen device is not practical. Instead a new and intuitive UI is required, built into the TV itself.

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Second screens: kicking off the Smart TV revolution – part 1

TransGaming, Vikas GuptaDespite all that they promise Smart TVs are not user friendly, nor are they feature-packed. In a market awash with tablets, smartphones and other devices capable of providing access to digital content, the current generation of Smart TVs aren’t ‘smart’ enough to compete. The UI is the key to changing this.

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