Once upon a time smart TVs made all kinds of sense. Turn the clock back a few years and the television sat right at the heart of family life. It was our only source of video entertainment, and we all used to gather around it to watch things together like earlier generations used to gather around the fireplace. It’s not for nothing that Panasonic used to refer to the television as a ‘digital hearth’.
So natural, in fact, that we all did our level best to ignore such ‘little’ matters as the horrible experience of trying to use a TV remote in a smart TV environment, and the fact that TV’s communal nature didn’t feel at all compatible with the much more personal, individual nature of interactive features.
The irresistible rise of tablets and smartphones
Then tablet computers and smartphones arrived. And as their influence on our lives has grown so the influence of the television has diminished. So much so that for the first time since those early smart TVs arrived I find myself seriously questioning if smart TV still makes sense from either a consumer’s or manufacturer’s perspective.