Skip to main content

Screen sharing of the future: where will we be looking at photos and videos in 100 years' time?

Picture the scene: bright neon vectors, 2D images flying around in thin air, Tom Cruise waving his hands around - yes it’s Minority Report, and the iconic ‘gesture interface’. At the time this vision of the future seemed so far beyond modern technology we called it science fiction. However, the idea that any surface can be a screen is no longer as far-fetched as it once seemed.

This tech is moving quickly into the home.  LG recently showed a 64 inch screen at CES 2017 called Wallpaper.  LG now has a screen which is just 1mmthick and can be attached to a wall with magnets. In under one year technology has gone from curved screen TVs to screens that can be rolled up like a piece of paper. Truly incredible.

By 2018 it is estimated that there will be around 759 million TV sets connected to the internet globally. This figure represents about 25% of the world’s TVs. By 2019, more than 50% of TV households in Japan, the US, the UK,France and Germany will have Smart TVs, according to the IHS TV Sets Intelligence Service.

We’re surrounded by screens everywhere we go. From the TV, to your laptop, tablet, or phone. And connecting them all is the Internet.

So, it seems all the parts are there:  a screen or something plugged into it that can display images or video that it gets from somewhere else, a device in your hand, or in your lap, that gives you instant feedback the moment you touch or slide your finger across it, and a wifi network in your house that connects it all.

But there is one major hurdle stopping you from having your own Minority Report style show.  Sharing media across all of these screens and devices: TVs, smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches, is not easy. This is because they are made by many of different companies. Some have features which allow for ‘cross-device’ compatibility: send video from your Samsung phone to your Samsung TV, send photos between Apple devices using Airdrop. But what about ‘cross-manufacturer’ compatibility? Well we are not quite there yet.

There are hardware solutions like Chromecast, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV. However, all these require the app, or an extension to the app, to be compatible with your content. Screen-mirroring is one option, but forget about replying to that text, or alert, or notification from Facebook or Twitter, once you’re doing it - screen-mirroring means you’ll have to do it on both screens at once.

There are standards slowly being developed. Samsung’s Tizen system supports various types of DLNA, Miracast and DiAL screen sharing protocols across their range. LG have utilise both WebOS and Netcast. Sony is producing its own platform, as well as a Google TV variant. On top of that (literally, over-the-top or OTT) you have Google’s Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon’s Fire TV, and a host of other generic TV plug-in stick and boxes. But none of these solutions are independent and put the user at the centre. What’s needed now is something that centres the media experience on the user, around their most familiar computer interface.

Enter the new kid on the block, Playora. The basis of this new technology and app is that it gives the user the ability to touch something on one screen, and have that appear on another screen without fuss, wires or layers of menus.  And that screen doesn’t have to be in the same room - or even the same country!

Now imagine this: you’re in the Valley of the Kings, in Egypt. The majestic peak of the Great Pyramid is to the left, and amazingly, impossibly, there are hardly any other tourists around. The sun is just setting... you have the perfect shot: you, the Sun, and 4500 years of mystery. Click. That’s it… the best selfie you’ve ever taken! Then… swipe, press, swipe, press… that selfie is instantly on your Mum’s tablet back home in Italy. She’s just come home from work, she has some friends round (they’re all drinking espressos)... she sees the pic - gets all excited of course - and with the touch of a button sends it to her smart TV in the living room, where they’re all sitting. Much joy all around!

Picture another scenario: you and your friends all have Smart TVs - you’re out socialising all the time, round each other’s houses. WhatsApp is a big part of organising your social life, a great place for banter, and a cool channel for sharing pics - but those pics from that boat party last night... well, they just have to be shared on the big screen. Your friends all have different makes and models of Smart TVs… but that’s not a problem: you just open up Playora! Swipe, press, swipe, press... voila! It’s on all their TVs at the same time… and your WhatsApp group goes crazy!

Who knows where we go next! With Google recently filing a patent to the US Patent & Trademark Office for what they are calling an “intra-ocular device” that lens may one day become a tiny, injectable transparent screen that lives in your eye and is connected to your phone by Bluetooth - making it possible to share your photos and videos directly into someone’s eyes, essentially creating a personal 3D cinema and built in virtual reality unit all in one, leaving Minority Report to dust!

ABOUT PLAYORA
Playora is raising £300,000 crowdfunding right now on Crowdcube, check out our pitch and see how you can buy a chunk of equity in the company that’s making science fiction science fact: https://www.crowdcube.com/playora

Founded by BAFTA winning serial technical entrepreneur Matt Spall, Playora is the trading name of Invisiplay Limited. The company was formed with the specific purpose of making it easier to use, so called, ‘Smart’ technology for entertainment by people left behind by the digital divide.

by Matt Spall, Playora

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Einstein's Greatest Mistake - David Bodanis ****

Books on Einstein and his work are not exactly thin on the ground. There's even been more than one book before with a title centring on Einstein's mistake or mistakes. So to make a new title worthwhile it has do something different - and David Bodanis certainly achieves this with Einstein's Greatest Mistake. If I'm honest, the book isn't the greatest on the science or the history - but what it does superbly is tell a story. The question we have to answer is why that justifies considering this to be a good book.
I would compare Einstein's Greatest Mistake with the movie Lincoln -  it is, in effect, a biopic in book form with all the glory and flaws that can bring. Compared with a good biography, a biopic will distort the truth and emphasise parts of the story that aren't significant because they make for a good screen scene. But I would much rather someone watched the movie than never found out anything about Lincoln - and similarly I'd much rather someon…

Four Way Interview - Tom Cabot

Tom Cabot is a London-based book editor and designer with a background in experimental psychology, natural science and graphic design. He founded the London-based packaging company, Ketchup, and has produced and illustrated many books for the British Film Institute, Penguin and the Royal Institute of British Architects. Tom has held a lifelong passion to explain science graphically and inclusively ... ever since being blown away by Ray and Charles Eames’ Powers of Ten at an early age. His first book is Eureka, an infographic guide to science.

Why infographics?
For me infographics provided a way to present heavy-lifting science in an alluring and playful, but ultimately illuminating, way. And I love visualising data and making it as attractive as the ideas are.  The novelty of the presentation hopefully gets the reader to look afresh. I love the idea of luring in readers who might normally be put off by drier, more monotone science – people who left science behind at 16. I wanted the boo…

A Tale of Seven Scientists - Eric Scerri ***

Scientists sometimes tell us we're in a post-philosophy world. For example, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow in The Grand Design bluntly say that that philosophy is 'dead' - no longer required, as science can do its job far better. However, other scientists recognise the benefits of philosophy, particularly when it is applied to their own discipline. One such is Eric Scerri, probably the world's greatest expert on the periodic table, who in this challenging book sets out to modify the philosophical models of scientific progress.

I ought to say straight away that A Tale of Seven Scientists sits somewhere on the cusp between popular science and a heavy duty academic title. For reasons that will become clear, I could only give it three stars if rating it as popular science, but it deserves more if we don't worry too much about it being widely accessible.

One minor problem with accessibility is that I've never read a book that took so long to get started. First t…