January 22, 2011

Back-seat Surfer

With the recent addition of a GoogleTV to my system, I've been thinking a lot about what problem this actually solves. Why would people want to integrate the web with their television viewing?

When watching tv, Jo and I always have at least one internet-connected device close at hand. Whether it's an iPhone, iPad, netbook, or MacBook, the interwebs are always within reach. That's a good thing, because we are always looking things up as we watch: "What else has she been in?" "How much does that cost on Amazon?" "What was the name of that show/song/movie/group?" "Weren't they just in rehab?" You get the idea.

So wouldn't a device that could seach at the press of a button, right on your television, be perfect? The main issue, which I believe none of the designers of these devices has thought about, and certainly haven't addressed, is that while everybody wants to surf on the tv, nobody wants to watch someone *else* surf on the tv. Think about how much you like a back-seat driver. With one person driving the remote, that's exactly what you get. It's painful to watch, and painful to listen to. It's painful for everyone in the room, and it ruins the experience.

What I really want is the ability (like on the new hit drama Hawaii 5-0) to look up the information on one device and then when I've found it, send it to a common screen. Whether it's a cool flick of the wrist or a simple "send to" button, the result is what you want to share -- not the process.

Solve this and you've got yourself a winner, in my eyes. Then again, maybe my googleTV already has this feature. Too bad there's no manual, so I won't ever know.

Posted by pinkerton at January 22, 2011 1:15 PM | TrackBack