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Sony Google TV Controller Provides Core Features, but is it for Everyone?

by Christopher Dodge | 10月 15, 2010

Sony will be the first to incorporate Google TV in to their HDTVs, with models hitting Sony Style retail stores this weekend and reaching Best Buy stores by October 24th. Sony will offer four different TV sizes, ranging from 24-inches to 46-inches with price points varying from $599 to $1,399. Along with these TVs comes a handheld full QWERTY keypad with standard navigational controls and touchpad mouse. The compact size of the controller should provide a nice trade off between traditional full-size QWERTY keyboards and current standard TV-service provider controllers. The QWERTY keypad appears to provide users direct access to the core features of the Google TV OS. The fact that it has a full QWERTY keyboard is one of the most important features of this controller. Our research, Profiling the Connected Media Consumer: a Contextual Study, has found that the lack of a QWERTY keyboard often acts as a barrier to adoption of current connected solutions. Strategy Analytics has also found that users want to easily multitask while watching TV, which involves split screens. A Dual View key (1) will allow users to view TV and web sites at the same time, split on the same screen. The Search key (2) allows users to access the search bar to enter their search query which Google TV pulls from various aspects of the web, electronic program guide, or DVR. A Home shortcut key (3) will take users to their customizable home screens, which displays their set bookmarks and installed apps. null However, I do have some concerns about general usability. Users may not want to access the advanced aspects of their Google TVs all the time, leaving some of the current core TV controls in awkward places. The Guide and DVR (4) keys are some of the most commonly accessed features of users. With these keys in the center of the controller, users would need to reach across. Also, while the controller may be ideal for the early adopter target customer, other members of the household may find the controller to be rather overwhelming or difficult to use and/or hold, especially as the Sony controller requires the use of two hands. Our best practices suggest that touchpads and directional keypads should be integrated and be on the right side of a controller, as most users are right handed and therefore naturally navigate with their current controllers using their right hands. This controller will provide a more enhanced and, through the use of Google TV, a more customized TV viewing experience – for the advanced, early adopter user. Unfamiliarity with this innovative controller will be an issue for all users at first, with a steeper learning curve for less advanced users. Strategy Analytics Digital Home Observatory will be conducting a comparative benchmark of Google TV versus other competing products on the already on the market.

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