Wal-Mart Has the First Look at the Future of TV
February 9, 2009 11:45 AM
A lot of people talk about the future of television as if it’s a new forecast, but the convergence of the Internet and broadband has been baked into the Web’s plan since long before the first video appeared on the Web. Its wireless capabilities were always there, too. It’s just one of the many things the incredible Internet protocol (IP) platform can do.
Was the first look at the new TV platform unveiled by a television giant? Was it ushered in by a major studio?
Not exactly. The first early view has turned up at none other than your local Wal-Mart store. The mass retailer’s new in-store TV display system taps the Internet platform in a way never seen before. Piped throughout its aisles, it serves up custom-created news and ad spots to its customers, complete with touchscreens that enable them to engage and interact.
Remember the scenes in “Minority Report,” where Tom Cruise was marketed to as he walked through various buildings?
It’s a bit like this, only less intrusive. While it may seem an in-store display is far from what our home TV systems will look like in the future, it really isn’t going to be much different. Flat panels feed us our favorite shows as they normally do now—but instead of the broadcast network supplying the content, it’s the Internet. DVR capabilities, customization tools and other ways to engage are baked right in—just touch the screen, or the remote, and you’re good to go. In the home, your IPTV experience won’t be quite as big and expansive, but you can imagine the possibilities.
Need to head out while still watching the big game? No issue. Just grab it and go on your handheld, which will support Internet TV content the same as your flat panel or that tiny tube in the kitchen or office.
I have to say it was pretty exciting to see. The future of television is about to become very cool!