The Guff

Gadget Fragmentation & Potential Unification

In The Pile on April 6, 2011 at 9:17 pm

I have a lot of gadgets. I have an iPhone (version 3), an iPod touch (version 2), an iPad (version 1), a MacBook (circa 2009), a Sony E-reader (haven’t a clue which one), some crazy 3D/television glasses, an old HTC phone, a pocket projector, a PSP (version 1), an Xbox 360 + Kinect and a no-name brand TV.

I know, i’ve got a load of shit. Truth be told the only things I really use are my laptop and tablet. I love the others individually, but they’re generally overpowered by something else. For instance, why use an e-reader when I have an iPad? Why use a PSP/iTouch when I have an Xbox 360 + Kinect? It’s a terrible shame. I probably own more spare gadgetry than most of Africa will see in their lifetime.

But all this money may not be completely lost and wasted! Recent developments at both Apple and Samsung suggest our fragmented array of gadgets may yet become whole again. Yes, we’re entering the land of sharing lions. Or, more accurately Mac OSX Lion and Samsung All Share.

Whilst i’ve heard a lot about Apple and their lions already (as an apple fan), i’m pretty unaware of Samsung and All Share. So I decided to put down the iPad, tie my boots and go observe the Samsung’s latest unveilings.

Samsung SMART TV

Samsung showcased their latest 3D televisions at the Fashion Catwalk in Dubai Mall today. 3D functionality is relatively mundane however compared to the new features these televisions offer. Forget 3D, it’s all about the SMART.

Don’t ask me why it’s capitalised, I couldn’t tell you. But I can tell you plenty about what this “SMART”ness actually constitutes. SMART televisions include Samsung Apps, AllShare, Search All, Social TV, Web Browser, Second TV and hopefully, the ability to watch a little bit of telly.

Enough buzz terms for ya’? Thought so. Let’s translate some of this into actual English. Introducing the PR->Plain English translator, courtesy of Google Translate (no i’m just kidding, i’ve made all this up).

  • Samsung Apps = Around about 300-400 apps built specifically for Samsung TVs. I haven’t seen nor heard about a single one of them and i’m going to assume that the majority of them are the usual suspects e.g YouTube, Twitter, Generic American Newspaper etc. I’ll be interested to see how many of these apps have been created within the region.
  • AllShare = The capability of the SMART TVs to interact with Samsung phones, tablets, notebooks and digital cameras. Think AirPlay. For example, you can use your Galaxy Tab as your television remote control.
  • Search All = Ability to search the Internet and connected devices.
  • Social TV = Allows you to use Facebook, Twitter and Google Talk to chat with friends who are watching the same content. (I’ll be interested to see how many people use this versus their phone)
  • Web Browser = I’ll let you guess this one. No, it’s not a vending machine.
  • Second TV = Allows  Galaxy Tabs and Samsung smartphones to stream content straight from the SMART TV and vice versa.

 

Samsung SMART TV

Now, I’d be tempted to summarize this event as “Come see our latest smartphones SMART TVs”, but that wouldn’t quite do it justice. Sure, it’s easy to look at this new technology and say, “well, so what”. But “well, so what” seems to have herladed many of techs current trends (Twitter, tablets, location-based tools etc.). The event today is as much a launch of the SMART TV concept as it is their latest televisions (which are typically superb quality btw).

It’s our job to take this awesome tech, intergrate it into our lives and see what works.

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