A recent OfCom report suggested that these days 17% of TV viewing is taking place alongside other media formats. For us, keeping tabs with friends on Facebook, tweeting commentary about Have I Got News for You, finishing off a report for tomorrow’s deadline or browsing the web, the notion of watching TV feels like the norm.
Most of the time though, these activities are not naturally connected however it seems likely that the next step is that tablets as well as smart phones are moving toward a natural position when enriching our TV viewing experience. But what will that experience look like? The recent announcement of the Android 3.0 powered G-Slate in the US and the anticipation of Mobile World Congress 2011 next week has got us thinking.
One popular idea is having tablets act as an ‘instant visual recogniser’. Imagine a tablet that could recognise what TV programming you are watching, so that it could deliver you with a host of added content (behind the scenes clips, interviews with the cast, the ability to live chat with other people watching it) – just by simply holding it up towards the TV.
We quite like the idea of tablets (and smartphones) becoming the hardware to gather the content, where the TV will be where we display it, over-the-air and we’ve already start to see examples of this, like the Play-To feature on the LG Optimus 7. With 16-24 year olds already focusing their time more on devices than the TV (58% of their media engagement is through computers/mobiles or other handheld devices) there’s definitely a chance that TV will serve as a larger screen to view small screen device content, like the tablet.
There are many more ideas around, but no clear winning concept as of yet. An indication on the future of the tablet is sure to come next week in Barcelona. Hopefully you’re looking forward to it as much as we are. In the meantime, let us know what you think.
Photo by: Dan Taylor