The Smart TV Alliance, consisting of TV manufacturers including LG, Panasonic, Philips and Toshiba used CES to announce the launch of its latest Software Development Kit (SDK) for developers, paving the way to an easier way to produce apps for smart televisions.
What does this mean to the consumer? Well, put simply, it should mean more choice as developers no longer have to work on multiple TV platforms and a bunch of separate validation and publishing processes to get things to market.
That means, more apps for your TV – at least if it’s made by a member of the alliance.
As it stands today, the developer community has to work in a highly fragmented environment. This is detrimental not only to the industry, but also the consumer that ends up with less choice as developers simply deem it too expensive and time consuming.
With the launch of the new SDK (V2.0), development will switch to HTML 5, the new web standard that is being widely adopted in the web space and will be a familiar language for developers – making it quick and easy to port existing code without starting from scratch.
The roadmap announced by the alliance will get a further update in June this year, to make it easier to develop apps for smartphones and tablets, with the third incarnation (planned for CES 2014) adding support for smart home development. Another theme at CES 2013 is the introduction of smart appliances in the home, such as ovens, refrigerators and washing machines. As well as using your smartphone or tablet, smart TVs could also be used to manage and control other appliances in the home.
Of course, all of this might be great news in theory – but the big challenge now, as it was when the alliance was created, is to see that things actually happen. With Samsung an obvious omission, it is hoped that LG’s rival might soon be convinced to join in, making the alliance even stronger and valuable.