Monday, February 20, 2012

At some point growing up, many kids heard this advice from one or both parents: “Now ____, be on your best behavior.”

Quite soon, we TV viewers may have to heed that advice, when dealing with our relationship to TV sets. There’s a huge disrupt ahead for that relationship, and thank Ralph Santana for the early alert.

Santana is Samsung’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, and the leadoff speaker at last week’s Association of National Advertisers TV conference last week in New York. His presentation came more than a month after Samsung and its TV set competitors showcased their latest round of connected (aka smart) models at the International CES in Las Vegas. Like earlier editions, these connected sets carry TV networks, the Web and original interactive TV applications. Unlike them, consumers can manipulate what they view and how they view it by voice, touch or body movement, beyond the capabilities of remotes, smartphones and tablets. Samsung’s CES-highlighted sets include the ability to recognize faces en route to viewing choices.

That latter function potentially carries some baggage over privacy, as in the consequences from information generated by facial features leaking out by accident, ending in another’s set. Debatable as that can be, that pales by comparison with what Santana suggested in a few sentences in the midst of his ANA talk. “Techonology is liberating content, thanks to third-party apps and cloud-based platforms,” he told the crowd. “With TV, you can control with voice commands, face and gestures. Soon, TVs will be biometric.”

Biometric…as in recognizing people based on one or more intristic physical or behavorial traits, according to Wikipedia and other reference sources. Those traits range from DNA, odor or scent to how fast you walk across a room or type words on a computer screen. All it takes is one trait. Lo and behold, you’ve added biofuel to your set...