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Jacques Bentley – Southern Africa Sales Manager, Skyworth 

When it comes to home technology, there’s nothing like the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to showcase the latest in innovation from the world’s top brands. Skyworth was at the January 2019 event, held in Las Vegas, which spotlighted how the next generation of Internet-connected electronics and appliances are making our homes more convenient and comfortable. Central to this intelligent ecosystem is that beloved household staple: the TV. Here’s how increasingly sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) functionality is transforming our TV viewing, and the role of “the box” in our lives.

Goodbye to remotes

Voice search already exists on some top-performing smart TVs but AI takes the feature to a whole new level. The latest generation of AI voice chips make legitimate hands-free voice command a reality because they have the processing complexity to understand accents and filter out environment noise. Additionally, the same chip will optimise the sound quality of whatever you’re watching for an even more satisfying viewing experience.

Entertainment and information are equally on-hand

No need to reach for your smartphone when you can’t remember an actor’s name or need a football score. Just ask your AI TV and it will instantly supply you with the information you need. AI TVs with an Android operating system include the personalised virtual help of Google Assistant, which will reportedly understand and speak over 30 languages (some simultaneously) by the end of this year. Ask a question and it will answer.

More meaningful personalised content

Most of us are now familiar with personalised advertising on our computer screens, as well as streaming services like Netflix and Spotify, which make recommendations based on our consumption habits. With AI TV, likewise, the more you use it, the more it learns from your preferences and adjust its behaviour. For example, it may proactively remind you that your favourite singer is on Channel 320 or create a highlights reel from an exciting cricket match. Also, on-screen advertising should better reflect your interests.

Best-quality viewing all the time

It used to be that a poor TV image meant fine-tuning channels by hand or fiddling with the connection. When AI TV encounters a picture issue it is designed to automatically correct it.  Just as usefully, to accommodate media in a variety of definitions and display ratios, machine learning algorithms process the image and upscale it for 4K-and-above screens. No distortion. No quality loss. Audio will also be optimised by default to be as immersive as possible.

 Control your home through your TV

It’s certainly handy to adjust the volume of your TV by voice command, but imagine you could tell your TV to dim the lounge lights? Alternatively, what if your TV could automatically turn on the bedroom air conditioner before you call it a night? AI TVs are making this possible right now by acting as a smart hub for the home.

Essentially, through your TV you can control other Internet-connected devices, appliances and technology in your house with no separate control unit necessary. By pairing your TV and smartphone, you can even perform these actions remotely. Forward-thinking TV manufacturers are forming relationships with other tech giants to make this seamless syncing of technology across brands as user-friendly as possible.

AI TV may sound like the stuff of science fiction but we can expect the user-centric technology to become more mainstream this year with the debut of feature-packed, but affordable, AI TVs. Prepare to have your home viewing – and lifestyle – changed for the better.