Home pc’s are dead, long live your Television.

I found this article on Neisen very interesting and it got me thinking about the way we are viewing the internet and websites is about to change.

You will know that the use of mobile devices (ie phones and tablets) to view the web is on the rise. Certainly when we look at clients statistical information and useability of their websites this is a key metric to monitor.

However I have long been a believer that one of the big problems of the Internet is that traditionally we have needed expensive and certainly complicated hardware to reach the web. Although the growth of access for the UK has been phenominal in recent years, I think it would have been much quicker and with better results if we hadn’t had to use PC’s to get to websites and email etc.

Frankly most people who have pc’s at home that they use for surfing have no idea of how to use the machines effectively, either in maintenance or upkeep. The industry has let them down significantly in my opinion by ensuring that only those who are technical nerds can truly look after the machines and get the most out of them. Maybe i”m cynical but isn’t there a big market for “anti this” and “anti that” software? Even the ever popular “make your pc run faster” type of easily downloaded, impossible to remove software. Full full blown email and website scams with flashing “your computer is a risk” warnings that the less technically proficient amongst us get caught with every minute are common place.

I guess if I liken it to a human brain, most folks use only a fraction of their computing power available to them through the use of traditional computers. People pay upwards of £500 quid, and all they do is surf the web, send a few emails and Facebook their lives away.

However there maybe light on the horizon through the humble Television.

It’s not a new idea to access the web through your TV but the take up has been slow as, as usual the price point for the technology has been set high by the manufacturers and retailers to justify their margins on “upgrade”. The light I refer to above is that the US is leading the way in a “new” trend. The use of home television sets able to access the web has started to soar in the states.

This is the quote from Neilsen: “The emergence of IPTV [sic: Internet Protocol Television] is one of a growing number of viewing options to emerge over the past decade and continues to compete with a gaggle of other advances for market share. Unlike other burgeoning tech-sector technologies, IPTV functionality is being built right into current and future generations of televisions, which could drive an increase in usage as penetration increases.

In October 2011 [in the US] the use of the Internet feature in IPTV-enabled homes was estimated at about 2 percent of their TV use. In February 2012 it jumped to about 5 percent in Internet-enabled homes.”

Ok 5% is not massive but it’s more than doubled in one year and 5% of the US is equivalent to 15 million citizens which would equal a quarter of UK population. (based on 313 million US population versus 62 million in the UK)

Once this trend hits these shores, and the price point of these TV’s comes down to reasonable levels, which they will, we will see a massive shift in the way most private homes access the web. About time in my opinion. Combine this with cloud based services for word processing, email, and other popular software and the shackles of the PC will have been truly broken and a new dawn for home usage of the web will emerge.

I mean really who wants to surf the Internet on a device that you can hardly see, that was originally designed to make a voice only communication and fits in your pocket?
It’s bad enough never being able to get away from the mobile, but expecting the average user to enjoy their surfing, or voyeurism or whatever it is that folks do on mobile devices, was always taking it a tad too far for me.