Google tv: What I think is fundamentally wrong

In internet time, I’m probably months behind. But I just caught the introductory video explaining how Google tv works.

Good video, which explains how Google tv works.

The problem is with the interaction, and how people will use the device.

TVs are located in our living rooms, where we sit reclined on our sofas and adopt a more passive form of interaction because that has been our behaviour in the living room up until now.

How remotes have been designed over the years has conditioned us to operate it with one hand with repeated clicks usually involving navigating menus to take us where we want to go. Adding buttons to the remote to access new functionality has only served to increase the complexity and workload of what is expected to be a passive experience, that is to say “more buttons makes us work harder for something we feel shouldn’t be work”.

What Google tv appears to do is merely shoehorn a personal computer form of interaction into a TV with a minimalized interface.

Notice all the text entry required to search for videos? Notice all the webpages visited and the mouse clicks required to interact? Notice how the video only showcases how the interaction looks like on screen but doesn’t show a human being operating it? That’s because to do those things in the video, you’ll need a clunky keyboard and wireless mouse sitting on your living room table with you, the user, sitting up from your comfortable posture and hunch over the coffee table to type away on the keyboard.

That will not work.

It’ll probably succeed in the short term until a better solution arrives because these are features that are available on a personal computer but has never been offered (until recently and in the near future) on a TV, and people would like to do these same things that they have been doing on a computer on the TV.

I feel, unless someone thinks of a great way to interact with the content on a TV that doesn’t require extensive text entry nor a keyboard and mouse combo, the user experience will always be clunky and emotionally unrewarding.


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