Smart TVs – User Interface and Standardization

This post/notes should have been out after the Football Fever this year. As always, it has stayed as a draft for long. A recent ad on flipkart showcasing Android TV – by manufacturer, VU has made me revisit this post.

I got a Sony 32 Inches Internet Full HD TV to get the best out of the world cup; We all definitely did watching the Germans slowly and steadily claiming the trophy. There were lot of options that i had considered before purchasing the TV and finally decided to buy Sony over LG (which has provisions to connect your keyboard) mostly because of the Brand, which also happened to my father’s choice.

Input Device
I must admit i didn’t do an extensive research but the only reason to go against Sony would have been connecting a physical keyboard which LG has. Now, I realise it would have been useful. To overcome this, I use my Samsung Note 8 connected with Wifi Direct as an input device to input keywords. Using the TV remote and the onscreen keyboard, was a pain to use; you had to move your up down left right with the remote to get every character. This app definitely was better; But a wireless keyboard would have been perfect.

Using Smartphone as Device
Quick remote:TV SideView Sony

The TV interface
We are today witnessing the same phenomenon that made iPhone experience a huge success. People who tried the device were definitely praising the simplicity of the interface. Before 2007, the mobile industry saw a largely fragmented interface, especially Nokia which probably had its design team come up with different UI for all the phones it made.
Samsung, LG, Sony before Android were also adding to the chaos. This was also the reason why many stuck to the same brand of phones. The Smart TVs in the world from Sony, LG, Panasonic have the same problem which the mobiles phones of the yester years had – An experience. The smart remote of Samsung with its Touchpad doesn’t solve other than adding an extra.

It is easy to imagine the potential of Gestures; Will gestures replace remote. Can we use it for constructing words?

This is when i started exploring the different TV in my friends’ have bought recently. The TV manufacturers are slowly create an experience void, which might give the opportunity to Apple to come in later and create the TV experience. Apple, with the launch of iPhone, did this to mobile industry in 2007; An experience that quickly became a standard and gave an edge to Apple.

Android TV interface
Android TV showing app tiles

Android TV definitely looks promising and i’m waiting to get my hands on one. Will it set the standards for TV interfaces? Or are we still waiting for the Apple TV to set the standards?