Search the Internet Through Your Television Remote

- February 22, 2008

Integration between Television and the Internet is one step closer. The Internet has always been a medium for people to get what they want, when they want it. It is a place where people proactively look for information and/or products. Television, on the other hand, has always been more of a “lean-back experience”. A place for people to relax, watch their favorite show, and often get bombarded with commercials (at least before the fabulous invention of TIVO and DVR). Television has never been recognized as place to proactively gather information, until now.

Samsung seems to have found a bridge between the Internet and Television through a device the company is calling See’N’Search. The new tool allows you to access the internet without using a keyboard or a PC. This new tool automatically pulls content from the Internet to match whatever television show you are watching. According to Mashable, “The new See’N’Search is a set-top box that reads the closed captions on a television show, as well as listens for keywords, to search for related Internet articles to the content you are currently watching. Say you’re watching the news and they do a story about the President; links to information on the President will appear at the bottom of the screen. For programs such as scripted shows, the system will pull up information on the actors as well as whatever they are discussing in the show. Furthermore, while it may be annoying to have information covering the bottom portion of your screen, you can instead choose to have any requested info sent to handheld devices or a computer connected to the local network.”

With any new technology, the question then becomes, will consumers find this tool useful or annoying? I am guilty of multi-tasking, which is why I am torn on how I feel about this product. When I get home from work, I often use the internet to search for a restaurant nearby, while using my DVR to watch my favorite daytime television show, and usually chatting on the phone with family or friends about my day. Multi-tasking is something that I am used to. Would this new tool from Samsung relieve some of my activities at night, or would it become more of an annoyance than a useful tool? While I am trying to relax and watch TV, do I really want to be bombarded with search results at the bottom of my screen? Also, would this type of technology be a fit for every type of television show? For example, I understand how this technology would be useful when watching a news clip or television about the President and/or any topic he or she is talking about, but what if I was watching “Everybody Loves Raymond”? What type of information would be made available to me? I am assuming articles and video clips related to the actors on the show, but truthfully, I don’t really care to learn more about that? I watch “Everybody Loves Raymond” for a good laugh, not to learn everything about the actors in the show.

Either way, the news is pretty exciting! With this being one of the first steps toward integration between the Internet and Television, it seems that the digital media space is joining together to try and make our lives a little bit easier and more connected. I am excited to learn more about this new technology and how it will evolve in the near future.

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