Unified Interfaces on the Mind at CES

by Hunter Sappington | Jan. 10, 2018

Speaking from an entertainment focus at CES, nearly everyone I met with talked about being able to provide a single, unified interface for all the video products and services that consumers are using. And when you think about it, it makes complete sense why that is such a big deal. We have reached the point where using two or more video services is becoming the norm rather than the exception to a rule, and because users have to sort through the several different services they use to find what they want, it is becoming harder for them to decide what they want to watch.

To address that, players from different areas, consisting of pay-TV operators, consumer electronics manufacturers, or technology vendors to name a few, are all hyper-focused on the user experience of their services. The interface and user experience have always been high priority, and with such a fragmented video market, it is now even more so. It is for these reasons that providing a single, unified interface that is consistent across their entire experience, regardless of the service they are accessing is so important.

One of the ways these companies are approaching a unified interface is through a feature called universal search. Using universal search, a consumer can search for a specific movie or series, and they will be directed to which of the services they use offers that piece of content. Not only does this feature make the experience of finding the content users want to watch easier, it also offers more opportunities to sell users content on a transactional basis. Do you want to watch Moana tonight? You may not have it through pay-TV or Netflix, but you can watch it through Vudu or Amazon right now for $2.99.

Because everyone is so invested in a unified user experience, it will be interesting to see which of these different solutions will end up fully cracking the code to create that seamless experience that consumers are expecting moving forward.

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Next: Three Thoughts on Day One at CES 2018
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