Stepping back into our technological past, the personal computer continues to be an integral part to the daily lives for millions of people by providing the best platform for work, entertainment and multimedia. However, as technology advances and the world becomes increasingly connected, many household devices, such as the humble television, are being transformed into a multi-tasking device for the future.
The past couple of years have seen companies like Sony and Samsung release their HDTVs with built-in Ethernet and Wifi allowing your TV to connect to the Internet and a home network. This provides various forms of multimedia functionality. Though computer manufacturers have been selling high-resolution monitors, for many years building larger, domestic sizes has proven expensive. But with most technology, overtime production costs lowered and the first large screen HDTVs were ready for the home.
Now, manufacturers are including new features and functions for your TV. Considering the number of devices and gadgets we are exposed to daily, streamlining our tech-lives has become an alluring selling point for technology companies. The Internet has been a key factor in making this possible, pushing the potential of home technology further.
Samsung's 'LED C8000' is one of the new LED-backlit HDTVs from the popular Korean brand. It features 3D capabilities, a HD tuner and Internet connectivity through its acclaimed 'Internet@TV' feature. The U.K version boasts BBC iPlayer, LoveFilm, Twitter and YouTube access. Along with email and news it's safe to say that these web services are the most popular, satisfying any technology geek.
Despite most people welcoming such technological enhancements, some people object to the convergence of so many functions into one domestic appliance. Their reasons ranged from wanting to "switch off and get away from being constantly connected to the world" to just wanting to "use the TV as a form of escapism away from news headlines about war and all things bad". However, most of them were excited by the video-on-demand features, eliminating the need for a PC being connected to the TV.
Consumers play a large role in how technology evolves - embracing these new enhancements would inevitably encourage the I.T. industry to produce novel and useful solutions to everyday demands. The industry is always looking to provide a solution to a problem.
Ultimately, a modern day laptop can do a much better job at providing such online connections. But the magic is within discovering new functionalities in traditional objects such as the new Samsung TVs or the Twitter kettle 'Twettle' (concept designed by Ben Perman and Murat Multu) where a user can tweet it to boil or be notified when it has boiled!
Should designers and manufacturers leave tradition alone or should we welcome their innovation by embracing technology's infiltration of the home? Or is this a worrying indication that technology has begun to severely dominate our lives? What do you think?