Surprise, surprise: despite consumers gobbling up expensive Smart TVs, apparently, they're not even bothering to connect them to the Internet. A new survey by In-Stat suggests that more than half of Smart TVs bought remain offline. Are Smart TVs not as hot as we thought?
The survey by In-Stat and shared with TechNewsDaily shows 47 percent of Internet-capable TVs are actually connected to the Internet, leaving the remaining 53 percent offline.
Why aren't people connecting their Internet-ready TVs to the well, Internet?
Paul Gagnon, director of North America TV Research (sister company to In-Stat says that although Smart TVs have tons of apps for streaming videos, music, social networking and games, people aren't using them very much. Instead, people are using their mobile devices and tablets to fulfill the tasks that a Smart TV has.
On Smart TV user interfaces, Gagnon said, "They're very, very complex and unintuitive user interfaces."
I couldn't agree more with Gagnon. The idea of tweeting from a TV during a commercial might have been a great idea five years ago, but with smartphones and tablets so popular, it's just easier to turn to those devices instead. I don't even need to say how much easier it is to type on a smartphone than with a TV remote.
Samsung might insist that picture quality is all that matters for an HDTV (and to most people, yes), but that's only because it hasn't managed to "crack" the TV and make the Smart TV's interface less intimidating.
A friendly interface like Siri would do wonders for a Smart TV. Opening apps wouldn't be clunky and a million button presses away. There would be no need for remotes that like someone ate a bunch of buttons and vomited them back out.
If Smart TVs are ever to be really connected, it's time to rethink how the interface works. It's the same reason why MP3 players fell to the iPod. Clean, simple and intuitive interfaces matter.