We are a couple of weeks in the new year (already). Looking at my news feed most of which are about gadgets to be expected this year, or how much did Back to the Future predict correctly and how far behind are we, all the new cool stuff being showcased at CES 2015, post from Marco Armet voicing his concerns about Apple Software issues and a million other posts making a completely new and stupid meaning based on what Marco wrote.
That aside, its the time of the year when cool new gadgets get show cased that somehow are going to solve our problems or just change the way we live our lives (iPhone in 2007 did that). One of the most common themes over the years and the most prominent things on CES is Television. First there were TV's, then came Big TV's, then came Flat Displays, then followed really big Flat Displays, 4K, 5k, 8k yadi-yada..
When I heard the term Smart TV, I was eager and intrigued to know what smartness can one put in the TV. Well... I my eagerness went straight through the drain when I saw the first Smart TV. It had 2 extra things, It could connect to the WiFi network and had Apple TV like features built in.
A few years later Smart TV's should be even smarter. But all I hear that even these Smart TV's are getting bigger, have a curve, more processor speed, 4K, 5K, 8K (I don't know) and have the same Smart features with a few dings that we saw in the very first Smart TV. Are we done? There is nothing to add?
Look at this beautiful piece of plastic and synthetic. Look at how well the white buttons stand out on a black background. Oh and the buttons light up so if you are watching with the lights out, you can still look at them clearly. And it is no different then the remote control of my previous TV which was about 7 years old. What atrocity is this?
Once I selected the source as HDMI 1 that was it. I hate the fact that I have to keep my TV remote at a place that I can find it because thats the only way I can Turn On and OFF the 'Smart TV'. Apart from that I have no use for the remote from an occasional Volume Up or Down or Mute.
I have a 90 minute commute one way every single day. The last thing I want to do is come home, turn on the TV with one remote and then use the other remote to navigate. Why can't I just talk? Why do I need a remote? All I want to do is turn it on and watch TV. Why am I still dependent on a remote control? Now I have two to worry about.
Also, since its a Smart TV, there is a high possibility that I'm going to log into my services to watch something. Do you know how hard it is to enter a password? Thats right. I have a remote app for my 'Smartphone'. Samsung, do you know how hard it is just to understand your app? Forget about using it. But I must say its the best example of skeumorphic design I have ever seen. The app just looks like a remote control. So when I have to enter a password, I get 12 buttons in keypad format instead of a keyboard <mind blown>.
After using this top of the line, 'Smart TV' for a couple of days; I was already hooking up my Smart TV with an Apple TV. And by now, I am using my Smart TV as a display.
The innovation in picture quality, hardware and all that stuff will go on, I have no problems with that - hey I don't have a problem with a glass piece hanging on my wall which I can start from my couch and watch what I want to watch. Hardware isn't my complain at all, its way we interact with that annoys me. I think Television is the one last thing I want to stress my brain and think how to use it. I don't know about everyone else, but I pretty much watch TV to release stress.
I can wave, jiggle or dance in front of an XBOX and it understands pretty well. I have a Wii remote to wave and dance in front of a screen to interact. I just want to change channels. Apple bought Primesense more then a year ago, I hope these gestures are coming to my Apple TV very soon!
Gestures & voice input would be a good start to get the TV smarter. Allow me to wave or flick hands and talk to enjoy my 'TV watching' experience from the comforts of my nice couch without bothering or sticking my hands in all nooks and corner to find a remote control.
Was it Ironman (correct me if I'm wrong) but yeah I would like the service of an e-Jarvis.