Do you or other members of your family sit down to watch TV at night, laptop open and smart phone at your side? Are you simultaneously checking 3 or 4 digital devices with screens of varying sizes – the local news channel on TV, emails or Facebook on your laptop, a video or book on your tablet, and text messaging or chatting on your phone? If the answer is yes – then your living room is half way to being a digital life control center!
With more people than ever working independently or remotely, the old definitions of rooms are changing and all rooms are transforming into “digital life hubs”. A recent study identified that smartphones are so pervasive that they are replacing alarm clocks on nightstands, and are the last thing at night and first thing in the morning that people reach for!
One question that’s often asked is who is really in control of the living room today and who will be in control of these digital hubs in five year’s time? To a certain extent the consumer has control, being able to program their viewing preferences remotely from their smartphone (checking TV listings and scheduling DVR recordings etc) and watch programs at their own convenience and in their own time. But they still don’t necessarily have all the tools they want, or unified platform to hold them.
Microsoft always claimed that the PC was the control mechanism for online access in the home but gradually the ultimate power is being handed over to the cable companies and the set-top box. These companies are rapidly realizing that, to satisfy the Digital Life needs of today’s consumer, internet-delivered content (for entertainment, information, phone service etc) via one single box needs to be personalized and also delivered to multiple screens in multiple rooms!
In a recent article in the Financial Times about last week’s Cable Show in Chicago, it was reported that cable companies such as Comcast, Time Warner and ESPN are starting to leverage digital mobile communications and remote storage and software design in order to advance the living room connection one step further for the consumer and improve their TV watching experience.
Cloud TV is one trend that will gain momentum this year as those cable companies with enough foresight will be looking to use the power of the web to their advantage. As one analyst at Morgan Stanley puts it: “The company that integrates online, traditional linear channels, video on demand and (digital video recorders) online across multiple platforms in an easy to use interface has tremendous upside in terms of video market share, and more importantly video pricing.”
The other exciting aspect of the digital hub / living room is the way devices will start to interact with set top boxes and other consumer devices. As the Internet of Things moves into the house, and smart devices constantly monitor and update the status of household appliances, the multiple screens will become the hub for command and control as well as entertainment, information and communication. Smart device manufacturers that jump on the bandwagon early and address the consumer’s need for personal, secure enterprise grade services, blended with easy to use and control smart information, will win the hearts and minds of the digital generation.
To take advantage of this space, companies will have to act fast and embrace the new converged digital technologies available to them so that the existing multiple screens can seamlessly access, process and move content, information and services between them, creating a fully amalgamated Digital Life experience!
To find out how converged digital technologies can lead to better connectivity and collaboration for both your business and home-based employees, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, +1-847-478-1633 or visit our website www.keysoglobal.com
Steve Bell, President, KeySo Global LLC