Toshiba demonstrated what the company calls its “Cloud TV” at an event in Las Vegas tonight, and I was curious to know how this technology is different from the regular “Connected TV” that we all know. A Toshiba representative told me that the Toshiba Cloud solution makes the TVs “smarter” than the regular connected TV. The terms “Smart” and “Cloud” are so overused in technology marketing, that we do not know what it exactly means any more.
Basically, Toshiba’s Cloud TV allows people to share files in the cloud such as photos, or share calendars or play multiplayer games using tablets, smartphones and the TV. I saw a demo of a poker game played by four people on different Android devices, each of them viewing its own cards, the TV acted as the poker table. Other connected TVs do not allows such interactions.
Toshiba showed me a brief demo of the key features that the company plans to integrate in some of its devices, I shot a video during the Toshiba CES event where the music was super loud – my apologies for the audio track, it was out or my control.
While watching the Toshiba Cloud TV interface in action, I was wondering why the manufacturer did not simply offer a complete version of Android instead. In my opinion, it would instantly provide more benefits to consumers and a great user experience consistency across different product categories. Additionally, it will spare the OEM from costly custom software development.
For now, the cost of offering a powerful processor capable of running Android in a low-margin product is too high, but we expect that down the road, it will happen.