Your TV Has a Mind of Its Own

by Jason Finkelstein- March 27, 2012 • 3:47 pm

A Blast from the Past

Remember WebTV and their hokey advertising from the 90s? If you don’t, check out the commercial below.

That guy is really excited to see the internet on his television. Unfortunately, real customers weren’t quite as enthusiastic. Due to slow internet and lack of interesting features, WebTV never really took off.

Today, however, the idea of hooking your TV up to the internet lives on. In the past few years, many new devices have hit the market that can transform your TV into something much more powerful than a way to catch up with your favorite shows.

Apps on your TV Tonight

(It’s 10’o’clock, do you know where your children are?)

For those of us who are smartphone owners, the word “apps” should be pretty familiar. But did you know that there are also apps for your TV?

Devices like the Roku and Google TV let you connect your TV to the internet and use popular apps like Facebook and Pandora on your flat screen. And new, so called “Smart TVs” even come with ability to browse the web built in.

Digital TV providers are in the app game, too. For example, if you’re an AT&T U-verse subscriber you can now use Safely’s Family Locator (sold as AT&T FamilyMap) from your TV. Simply tune in to channel 9930 or press the blue “Go Interactive” button on your remote control to access “My Services”.

We thought it’d be pretty cool if you could find where your kids are right now without leaving your couch. And, now when the PSA asks you if you know where your children are, you can just change the channel and look!

The Future of Television

Right now, TV apps are just starting to take off. As televisions become more advanced, it will be interesting to see how things evolve. Who knows, maybe in a few years we’ll be able to control our thermostat with our TV remote, or kids will be able to interact directly with characters from their favorite cartoon.

What apps would you like to see on your TV? Do you already use some?

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