‘Please keep taking the Tablets’ could be the motto of CES 2011. Not surprisingly, given the runaway success of the iPad, an industry known for bandwagons has not been slow to throw a slew of screen sizes and functions at the market (there’s a general coyness about prices).
Classic is Panasonic which has rushed out three tablets – 4inch, 7 inch and 10 inch – under the Vierra brand. It does wi-fi and ebook and all the other stuff you’d expect, but the real point is you keep it lap-side to complement your 40+ inch Vierra HD.
All the connected TV functions come up on the pad and you can choose programmes, or clips, or even frames and ‘swipe’ them up onto the big screen. Then you can control them from the pad and wipe them back off the big screen when you’re finished.
Is this more or less intuitive than using a remote? More or less intuitive than using semaphore (with the Microsoft Kinect)? More or less intuitive than the many voice controllers here? It looks great when a practised expert does it, but without the ‘back up’ button to easily correct my many crimes of clumsiness I’d be screwed.
In any event, the Tablet is the hot item and is rapidly becoming the device of choice for controlling the home network and driving media everywhere. Its appearance here also underlines some CE manufacturers determination to step into this integration play and do it with proprietary products.