While Kenya continues with the legal battle facing the digital-migration, manufacturers of smart TVs are now busy upping their game with the latest invention being a television set that ‘watches’ the viewer. The smart TVs offers technologies that watch the viewer, in an effort to offer more relevant programming.
The idea may sound creepy but people in the industry say this is the next step in the evolution of TV viewing. Chinese manufacturer TCL unveiled a new TV and set-top box using the Google TV platform which recognizes who is watching in order to suggest potential programs.
The new TV developed with Marvell Technology Group uses sensors and voice recognition to determine and can offer streamed or live programs to appeal to an individual or family.
“We have developed many innovations to personalize the viewing experience,” said Haohong Wang, general manager in the US for TCL, a major global manufacturer which has made TVs under the RCA and Thomson brands.
This offers a “game-changing entertainment experience for consumers around the world that will drive the smart TV market forward at a rapid pace,” said Weili Dai, co-founder of Marvell.
Panasonic also used CES to show its new Viera smart television which can recognise users and create a home screen allow programming tailored for each.
Other manufacturers are working on similar technology which takes advantage of television over Internet.
This new interactivity opens up possibilities for advertisers who will be able to develop more targeted pitches, but raises some of the same privacy concerns of data collection on the web.
According to one analyst,this model will become the norm as television gravitates to internet platforms.
“Increasingly, TVs will know who is watching them and I expect advertisers will know shortly thereafter.This should result in shows and commercials you like more and even better products but far less privacy.”
James McQuivey at Forrester Research said consumers will accept these privacy tradeoffs if they see an advantage to the new style of television.If viewers feel uncomfortable with being monitored they don’t have to use those features, “they can just turn it off.”