Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Converging On A New Medium

It would seem that innovation has finally come to televisions. There are a host of new initiatives pioneered by Yahoo!, Intel and Samsung which all have the common aim of bringing the internet to a television near you.Yahoo's new Connected TV platform is now available on selected Samsung televisions. Sony, along with LG, are also both readying their offerings to be released later this year. BusinessWeek notes the similarity between the latest applications-based strategy to that of the iPhone App Store. It's therefore not surprising that the interface design of the Connected platform has been spearheaded by a former Apple interaction designer, Arlo Rose.

According to Rose, users will simply make use of their regular TV remote to accesses the Web via a wireless or broadband connection. Four widgets are currently available, for Yahoo's news, weather, finance, and Flickr photo-sharing services. Future partners Yahoo and the various TV set makers aiming to sign them up include MySpace, Netflix, Amazon.com, Joost, and Twitter.

Content appears in a sidebar to the left side of the screen, with regular programming playing underneath (a full-screen option is also available.) The menu has been described as intuitive and easy to manage, given the primitive functionality offered by the remote.

While there are still many issues to be ironed out between the sponsors and manufacturers, the web-enabled TV initiative has been long overdue and offers plenty of potential for manufacturing brands as well as for advertising.

Via - BusinessWeek