Big screens, wide screens, ultra-mega-super-high-definitions screens. Touch screens, smart screens, 100 inch laser screens (laser screens?!).
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that so much of what we’re seeing at CES is a newer, faster, brighter, bigger screen that enhances the home TV, computer, and movie experience. After all, getting the most out of broadband and cable television is CES’s raison d’être.
But just below the superficial glitz of resolution lines and aspect ratios lies the real hero of CES 2013 – the second screen.
Increasingly, hardware makers and software producers are collaborating to augment the home entertainment experience with apps that pull together our multiple devices into harmony.
And I’m not just talking about watching TV on the big screen and chatting about it on your tablet; I’m talking about an enhanced entertainment experience. I’m talking about moving content from one device to another with a single swipe and I’m talking about a serious step towards the integration of all of our devices into one digital experience. These new tools will be able to take advantage of content provided by cable and broadband Internet in unimaginably creative and powerful ways.
I saw Samsung showing off some new technology that mirrors your TV to what’s happening on your smart phone or tablet. What this does is effectively turn your device into the ultimate remote. Search, read a review, hit play and it’s on the TV.
And Panasonic is presenting some concept technology that turns your TV into a tablet and the tablet into a TV. So think of it like the mirroring technology from Samsung, but the TV and tablet can work independently. Search, hit play, send it to the TV and go back to the tablet and keep searching, chatting, and reviewing.
Of course, conceptually this isn’t ground breaking stuff. We’ve been seeing tablet-to-TV user interface for some time now. But at CES 2013, almost every TV manufacturer is showing off some kind of second screen experience. It’s no longer the exception, but the rule. And this really goes to show how increasingly important broadband Internet is going to be in making this new entertainment experience a reality.
For content buffs like me who also want a gorgeous user interface and seamless social engagement, second screens mean our wishes may be coming true sooner than expected.