Among all of the hype about watching TV on tablets lately – many cable/satelite TV providers have rumored plans to stream to the iPad and/or other tablets – the one thing that has somewhat been overshadowed is how tablets will constitute a new kind of remote control in the Internet enhanced TV era (if/when such an era comes to pass).
While being able to walk around the house and while streaming from a tablet is cool and all, eventually, if you have an actual TV, you’re going to want to use it – and just the fact that you’ll be able to switch seamlessly between your tablet and TV makes tablets even more interesting. Either way, putting down your tablet is going to be hard, because if the iPad is any indication (and heck, it might be the indication), tablets are going to be the perfect interface to our widescreen, living room sized TVs. Why?
Because TV interfaces are going to be touch based.
A number of people in tech at this point (we’re no exception) see computing inexorably going to touch on all devices that we use, and TV really shouldn’t be an exception. That said, there is no reason that the TVs themselves need to be touch – as a matter of fact, touch is really kind of bad for TVs. Not only do you get your greasy fingerprints all over them, but who wants to sit within touching distance of their TVs? On anything over say 32″ that’s just not going to happen.
That said, the controls will be touch and to a lesser extent voiced based (at least until things like the Kinect become perfected sometime in the future), so we’re going to need a touch/voice enabled device. With mobile operating systems seemingly being the next phase of set-top TV boxes, having that OS interoperability will also be key. Yes, smartphones / iPod Touches will work for this as well, but tablets just seem to be a much more reasonable size to deal with large screen TVs. Don’t you think?
Could we start seeing tablets bundled in with TVs sometime in the future instead of remotes? Wouldn’t that be cool?
Here’s some more background info: