How will home networks change in the futureSamsung, Apple, LG, Google and Sony -- bringing revolution to home networking environments -- have already shown their futuristic smart TVs.
Smart TVs can be said to be expansions of the increasingly popular smart phones, and they are devises that are capable of sharing information with mobile phones and PCs.
Samsung has recently launched Samsung Apps, which is the first smart TV applications marketplace and it is defining new boundaries for the content market. TV is constantly evolving and forecasts predict that the smart TV will take center stage in our homes by 2014.
Study with the TV on
Soon, the same parents who used to yell to their children "Turn off the TV and and do your homework" may be saying "turn on the TV on and do your homework".
Children will gather in front of the TV and study by utilizing a wide variety of educational applications on the smart TV. Infants and young children can study English through storybook applications, while middle and high school students can select the EBS scholarship aptitude test app to study for their exams.
Park Soo Jung (35), who is a mother of two living in Gang-Nam, Seoul greeted the smart TV's by saying "I hope that smart TVs can fulfill the role of tutor, so that I can spend less money on private lessons," and "I have no reason to turn off a smart TV if my children can gain access to good lectures and educational programs at a lower cost."
Children and students are not the only ones to benefit. Now housewives can use the smart TV for self-improvement. Lessons on foreign language, fitness and cooking are now available without expensive fees. It's like having a cultural center right in the living room. This is what sets smart TVs apart from the conventional TVs that consumers are used to.
TV application content allows the viewer to select applications according to their personal needs. In other words, the TV is changing from just something to watch to something to enjoy right before our eyes. TVs will go from the flow of information in one direction to a two way communication. There is a stunning variety of content available using this new technology. Samsung has evolved their strategy to meet this need. One of the company has promoted Samsung Apps was to hold a TV application contest in March that lasted 3 months. Multilingual story books, karaoke applications and others were chosen from this contest and are in development for release this year.
Perhaps what consumers anticipate most from the smart TV is using it to maximize the quality of their free time. Applications like 'SBS Drama', a program used to watch all your favorite soaps at once, 'Getty image', an application to watch works of great artists, 'Push up', an easy workout program that can be done at home on demand, 'Blackjack' a card game just like the one in a casino and 'Chuzzle', a fun puzzle game all provide a fresh experience right at home.
"A TV is a one-way medium. Smart TVs however, allow access to different content which is customized based on the preferences of the user. User focused TV is the new standard," Byun Jun Suk, a representative from the Samsung Pavv marketing team said. "Currently there are a lot of information applications being developed overseas, while in Korea there is a lot of development in the educational application area. Samsung will soon develop and localize applications according to the demands of each of the country's consumers.
From home to experience space
Have you heard of the 'Art Window' or a 'Wall TV' Now the home can become a classy gallery. TVs will be integrated in to walls and appear to be the frame of a picture or window and be fully customizable by the user. The LG Economic Research Institute has reported that smart TVs serve as interior decorations in the future.
Without leaving the comfort of home, the atmosphere of a mountain camping trip or a beach-side retreat is now possible. Pushing the envelope even further, 'Wall TVs' which take up vast swathes of wall space will offer holograms, which can provide experience-centered entertainment. The works of a great artist can be displayed on the wall TV just like a big frame. A homey atmosphere can also be created by displaying a picture of the family on the screen.
"The TV will provide a digital representation of all five senses once it is synchronized with the decor of the household appliances," the LG Economic Research Institute reported while offering insight evolution of the TV. "For example, when you watch a movie, the air conditioner and lighting appliances will synchronize with the TV and provide a tactile and olfactory experience, just as if you are right in the scene. Also, there will be functions where Holographic images can be used to see how you would look in the clothes that you are about to buy."
Experts have speculated that advancement in TV display functions stem from the widespread use of 'TV replacements' that exist today. Consumers are using their PCs or Netbooks and smart phones to access a diverse array of content. This phenomenon has spurred the evolution of the TV and is bringing about the development of related technologies, such as OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) and Holograms. LG showcased their 31 inch 3D OLED at 2010 IFA, which is a business event for consumer electronics and home appliances products being held in Berlin in September to rave reviews. This OLED TV is so thin that it measures only 0.29cm in thickness.
The evolution of smart TVs will deliver health and security functions, as well. One-source multiuse content will be available, creating even greater functionality. TV sensors will be able to pick up transmitted information on body temperature and blood pressure from home and send it to a physician for analysis.
We are in the midst of a bountiful shower of new services and interactive content with the advent of the smart TV. Consumers will be singing "Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain."
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