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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Connected TV Insights from Giraffic’s Yoel Zanger: Smart TV Interface Needs to be the Smartphone

Yoel Zanger, CEO for Giraffic, discusses the future of user interfaces and the quality of video content prior to his speaking engagement at CONNECTIONS™:

What is the most important next step to engage consumers in smart home solutions, connected entertainment services, and/or value-added services like tech support and connected health?

User Interface and operability are absolutely critical. To date, most user interfaces are cumbersome and inconsistent and don’t always work. For the same reason the first iPhone managed to crack the previously failed touch screen paradigm, or the Nest thermostat become an miraculous success – two examples of base consumer products that were available previously but not highly adopted.

A classic example is the Connected TV: the user interface simply does not work. Users did not buy into gesture control or voice recognition, certainly not to the extent of the immense success of the usability of touch screens on Mobile phones. (See Forbes article by John Archer that mentions Giraffic’s AVA: http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnarcher/2015/04/27/smart-tvs-are-dumb-every-last-stupid-one-of-them/)

It is quite evident that a Smart TV interface needs to be the Smartphone – just like Chromecast, Miracast, AirPlay. But still the interoperability between the Smartphone and TV is not clean and robust enough. If CE makers will make phones dance with TVs transparently, users will be able to search, discover, and interact with content on their smartphone, and with one click of a button, beam it to their TV.

What is the biggest challenge your company faces in 2015?

Educating Consumer Electronics Device Manufacturers that they can play a critical role in the Content Delivery ecosystem: similar to companies like Samsung, which uses our technology on their Smart TVs that helps smoothen the streaming of video from the web, and do not only rely on the Content Providers and Network Operators to do their job.

What is the biggest driver for the connected consumer market?

The growth and abundance of Internet Video and Gaming possibilities (infinite amount of content, and almost all major brands and shows), and their quality (HD, UHD/4k).

What are the most important initiatives your company is taking in 2015?

Forming the AVA Alliance – an alliance of Consumer Electronics device manufacturers (mainly Connected TVs), with some of their ecosystem vendors (chipsets, codecs, etc.) that will drive the standardization and adoption of Adaptive Video Acceleration™ (AVA).

Describe your vision for the smart home and entertainment markets in 2020.

In 2020, I shall be sitting in my living room, with my UHD 8K TV, the quality being so good that I will be puzzled whether the image I am seeing on it is not perhaps the view outside my window, whereas all the main content brands (Mobiles, Shows, Sports) will be available online Live and On-Demand. I will be searching and discovering content in my Smartphone, and with one touch on the screen, be able to beam it seamlessly to the TV, while also controlling my air conditioning and some other of my home appliances.

Yoel Zanger will be speaking on the panel “Streaming as Standard: The New User Experience” on Wednesday, May 20 at 1:15 PM. Other companies on the panel include Harmonic, MobiTV, Roku, and Sharp.

For more information on CONNECTIONS speakers, sessions, or topics, visit www.connectionsus.com. Registration is still open!

Next: NeuLion: Delivering the Next-Generation Viewing Experience to Consumers
Previous: CEL to Host Executive Reception During CONNECTIONS Conference, May 20


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