3 Key TV Trends to Watch at CES
This year has seen some particularly interesting announcements that really seem to point the way for TV trends in 2012. Yet ultimately, it's up to consumers, and what devices truly capture their imagination and drive mainstream adoption.
1. Connected TV
While last year was all about 3D TVs, this year's CES focusses on a range of smart, connected TVs.
Google once again jumps into the fray, announcing a new array of partners for Google TV 2.0. But as the Guardian points out, "Certainly you can sell TVs with smart capability built in; the question is whether you can find anything smart out there to watch...As long as TV companies can make more money from selling their programs to each other than they can through Google, this is going to be an uphill battle for the search giant."
2. Interactive TV
Interactivity is one of the most interesting developments coming out of connected TV. While interactive TV as a concept has been around a while, this is the first time where the experience is becoming more simple and user-friendly.
This generation of smart TVs offer new ways to interact, with the addition of voice recognition and gesture control. For example, Lenovo's new Android-based TV responds to voice commands, cutting out the need for complex remote controls. This follows up on rumours around Apple bringing Siri to TV, along with XBox Kinect's newly released voice controls.
Additionally, LG and Samsung have also both announced voice recognition and gesture control to their smart TVs- opening the door for TV apps and slicker, richer user interfaces.
3. Second Screen
A flurry of new second screen devices have also been announced this year.
In the smartphone arena, some analysts are predicting a Nokia-comeback, with the release of the Nokia 900. According to recent figures, just one third of American adults own smartphones – leaving plenty of space in the market for the Nokia/Windows collaboration to grow into.
The second screen continues to make inroads as a video device as Samsung extends its Media Hub to TVs. This will give its viewers the ability to watch content seamlessly on any device, feeding into TV everywhere strategies. This includes Dish's CES announcement to stream VOD to their iPad app
Additionally, the second screen companion app is slowly starting to become a reality. Both Audible Magic and Civolution have announced new technology at CES that helps apps synch effortlessly with live TV content.
The continued innovation in second screen arena demonstrates that consumers are going to own more and more connected devices as we go forward into 2012. As a result, the number of viewers multi-tasking while they watch TV will surely continue to sky-rocket.
The combination of connected TV, increased second screen adoption, and increasing interactivity make second-generation strategies key in 2012. Judging by the new technology at CES, the TV market looks like it will continue to fragment, opening up new opportunities for creating, distributing and marketing content.
Emma Wells, Marketing Manager
What CES trends do you think are the most important? Will consumers embrace or reject interactive TV?