Our tablet computers are not only changing the way we communicate with each other and surf the Internet, but they are also changing the way that we watch television. This fact was pointed out in a recent article found in the PopSci online magazine. The article stated that an estimated 88% of tablet users watch TV while on their tablet computer. This isn’t surprising to me since both my wife and I are part of the 88% who have learned to multitask. For us, that means that I work on my blog using my Nexus 7 while my wife plays games using her Apple iPad, all while keeping track of what we are watching on the boob tube.
This dual processing of tablet use and TV viewing is fairly easy since many of today’s television programs are geared to those viewers who have no desire to think when they sit down to relax in front of the tube. This is especially true of reality TV programs — many of which have been on so many times the viewer can guess what is going to happen next and even who will probably win. In fact, the mere repetitiveness can at times act as well as any sleeping aid you might take.
This means that, when programs like Big Brother or Survivor are on, it is a perfect time to surf the Internet. After all, who cares what these people have to say to each other? Most of it is said just to fill time since there is little else for them to do when they are trapped in a house or on an island.
Even on programs like America’s Got Talent, where the contestants sing, dance, juggle, or perform any other type of vaudeville routine, one can watch and surf without losing the gist of what is being presented.
How Will Television and Tablets Interrelate to One Another?
So with that being said, how will television and tablets interrelate? It is simple. The days of kicking back with our eyes glued to a television set are slowly coming to an end. In fact, it appears that even the networks are seeing that viewers, while on their tablets, may be missing some of the content (think commercials), that they want their viewers to see. This has resulted in the networks now placing advertisements at the bottom of the screen while a program is in progress. Remember: this is despite the fact that you are lucky to see 10 minutes of a program before being subjected to five minutes of commercials. These same networks are also trying to maintain their market share by designing new applications to take advantage of the new tablet phenomena.
Previously, these network-designed applications required the user to manually change the channel before they were initiated. However, these new applications are taking advantage of the audio capabilities on your tablet computer and can identify the show you are watching and switch automatically to the new show. This audio technology is similar to how applications, like Shazam, identify the music-based audio to which you are listening. The intent of these applications is to make you aware of related tweets, Facebook news feeds, and other social activities that can then be viewed on the tablet. It is expected that these notices will coincide with the television program you are watching.
Also, in an attempt to cash in on the upcoming changes in viewer habits, DirecTV is trying to improve its user experience by adding another new feature. This new feature will take advantage of the cloud (rather than Wi-Fi), and when an iOS application recognizes a channel to which the set-top box is tuned, it will automatically call up the video and audio. These feeds that are being added to the tablet will feature actor biographies as well as additional information about the show itself and / or any other information that a producer wishes to add.
In addition, DirecTV is looking at the possibility of using your Wi-Fi connection to provide you with a different camera angle for your tablet. This would mean that you could view a broadcast football, baseball, or basketball game from one perspective while viewing a different perspective of the same game on your tablet computer. It would also mean that you could watch one game on your TV while keeping track of another game via Wi-Fi on your tablet.
In other words, this was all said to confirm that, as more of us purchase and use tablet computers, I believe that all of the television signal providers will add more features meant to incorporate the tablet computer into the TV arena.
Comments, as always, are welcome.
CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by ccharmon