Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Couch

The adage 'couch potato' has transformed with the proliferation of smart phones and tablets. Almost every individual on the couch is using a laptop, messaging with friends, or gaming or surfing on a tablet while 'watching' TV. In the last year or so, cable companies have started to offer applications on those devices to help you view guides, use secondary content applications and in some cases view content (the breadth of content on secondary devices is growing as licensing deals are extended).

Consider the contrast of the computer and the TV. In regards to entertainment consumption, the visible difference is the computer is mostly a one-to-one device, verses the TV which is one-to-many. What happens when your phone starts allowing you to do things like 'vote' interactively for a reality TV show, or becomes the remote control? The battle over the remote is well documented and phones and tablets are controlled by the owner, where the remote is a shared device. I hope application developers keep this in mind and consider multiple parties on the couch each with a single device that might want to interact with the TV. Do you allow all devices to be the remote control? Image the possible chaos. However, if voting is allowed, shouldn't each person on the couch get to vote using their own device?

The couch where this is often discussed is at the therapists, they might want to prepare for a much more complex world!

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