According to The Hollywood Reporter, Google is planning on giving every new subscriber to their pay-TV service an Android-based tablet to use as a remote control.
That’s a development we’ve been predicting for a while now, but Google’s announcement moves the timeline up. A tablet as a remote control opens the door for all kinds of 2nd screen apps, particularly one that’s controlled by the MVPD themselves. (Full disclosure: our KIT Social Program Guide app is a white label app that does exactly that: give control of the 2nd screen app and all the resulting data to the MVPD.)
By putting a tablet directly into consumers hands and telling them to use it as a remote control, Google is all but ensuring the rapid ascension of the 2nd screen, as other MVPDs are sure to follow their lead.
What remains to be figured out are all the UX and design issues around those tablets: how they’re configured, what makes them easier to use than a remote control, how much do they incorporate voice commands and how many do you have per household. (We’re thinking that everyone in the family over a certain age gets their own so they can watch the same shows together while having personalized experiences on the 2nd screen device. See “Just Say No To Nielsen“)
It’s too soon to make any predictions here, but it will be interesting to see what Google does with their tablets and how much of the potential of 2nd screen apps their new service will take advantage of.
CHECK OUT THE SLIDESHARE: 10 Things You Need To Know About The Future of Television