Why the future of TV could be plastered all over your wall

This week I was invited up to Glasgow to hear from Cisco about their role as official network infrastructure partner for the Commonwealth Games. The company is involved in a range of activities in the city, from providing Wi-Fi and telecoms networks through to smart ticketing.

Alongside the Games, there was an exhibition in the Glasgow Science Centre examining the future of television, looking at how both the viewing and broadcasting experience will evolve and change in years to come.

A particularly eye-catching part of this was a display from Cisco on the future of television, showing how home entertainment could soon look.

The new experience does away with the current situation seen in many homes right now – a single television screen backed up with personal devices such as smartphones and tablets (often used for discussing what is being watched…) Instead, four larger screens were integrated into the wall of the home, with output being controlled by a connected tablet device, which governed what content was displayed on the screens.

future tv

This could vary from typical film or television output (which can be magnified or made smaller depending on preference) to an internet browser, display of photos, or personal calendar information – or even a combination of all the above – the display was certainly large enough to cope.

The demo also displayed several possibilities of what the televisual experience could soon look like, showing a much deeper integration with the online and social media worlds. Using the connected tablet, viewers could pull up extra information on the show they are watching, or check out what their social media contacts are saying about the programme. Say you are watching a cookery show, then the channel could display extra information on recipes, or extra information on the chefs or contestants (as you can see in the header image above). The same goes for sports – extra statistics or live betting odds could be displayed around the side of the action.

As the Internet of Things grows ever larger, it surely cannot be too long before such an experience is commonplace. Entertainment is one of the core areas that improved connectivity can greatly enhance, and I look forward to seeing how the technology develops in the future.

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