Remember a time when your television was just a television? Now imagine an era when your television decides what you should watch based on your viewing patterns, informs you if the cereal in a commercial is available in the neighborhood departmental store, alerts you on an urgent official email that’s just come in, and suggests that you have a video chat with your stockbroker about market fluctuations as soon as you see it on a news broadcast!
Perhaps the most epochal change in television technology is the emergence of smart TVs. Also referred to as connected TVs or hybrid TVs, smart TVs are defined by a range of functions that lets televisions be integrated to the Internet and technologically converge with computers, handheld devices, and set-top boxes. This means that traditional broadcasting now includes online services like video on demand, social networking, and instant messaging. While in the past, TV viewing experiences were passive, smart TVs promise lean-in, interactive experiences, customized for the viewer. And in conjunction with the implementation of an Internet of Things, where all things are ‘connected’, smart TVs could also play the role of information storage and data processing devices in an always-on world.
In the future, smart TVs are set to play a fundamental role in smart homes. Now, sending instructional messages to your television would no longer be a fictitious possibility. In addition, smart TVs could also act as storage devices for media. Multi-locational playability and visualization is the next big implication, allowing multiple smart TVs to play the same files across locations, no matter where the data is stored. Smart TVs are also expected to be the interaction points that allow control of other devices in an IoT environment, such as home lighting, ACs, and switches, thereby literally acting as a remote control for other devices.
Moreover, most smart TVs also come with Augmented Reality (AR) simulator apps that allow users to transform the television into an AR platform for interactive and immersive experiences. This would also allow smart TVs to play a pivotal role in education across sectors, allowing students to interact directly with content for an enhanced learning experience.
Clearly, smart TVs have immense applications for entertainment, computing, and retail. As electronic gadgets, smart TVs are set to transform entertainment with high-end interactivity and integration. When it comes to computing, smart TVs will prove to be more than just additional screens. Its extended features, which include data storage capability and device interconnectivity, will even make smart TVs equivalent to a real computer. Most significantly, driven by features like interactive advertising, these devices could well become the new gateway for retail—monitoring logistics across industries in a world continuously connected via the Internet.