Televisions have played the main role in the CES in the past with individual manufacturers competing with their projects of big screens, 3D screens, curved screens and 4K screens.
Around 2010, Google made its debut, setting the stage for a smart television. But Google TV ended in a disaster, and televisions could not cross over their conventional framework.
This year, however, Sony and Sharp joined in the CES with Android TV, Panasonic with Firefox OS, LG Electronics with WebOS, and Samsung Electronics with Tizen, all featuring a Smart TV consolidated with smart phones.
It was just like a second Smart TV war.
At Sharp, for example, an expert who was engaged in the smart phone development is now taking the initiative of TV development. When working on TV development, he is exploiting his connections built with Google in relation to the smart phone, his affinity with chip sets, and his concept of user interface.
The reporter interviewed the Sharp expert after a long interval, and was impressed by his talk not about TV but almost only about the smart phone.
Why, then, all makers are now focused on designing Smart TV with use of smart phone OS?
The reporter asked specialists at Sharp, Panasonic and Sony, who said unanimously that they could not fully develop Smart TV with resources of their respective companies alone. They wished to use whatever else available on hand. By committing themselves to open sources, they said they could expect to obtain access to innovative applications and services.
Their voices reminded the reporter of the days when many cellphone manufacturers jumped in on the bandwagon of Android, citing limitations on developing cellphones on their own.
Manufacturing a 4K TV will require high-performance chip sets. Such chips can be produced relatively easily by modifying those made by Qualcomm and Media Tek to assemble smart phones. This means 4K TV production is now rather easy.
The idea of making a Smart TV by combining high-performance OS and omnipresent chip sets is quite the same as that of making smart phones.
During the CES, IoT-related systems gained in popularity. Chances are high, however, that they will be controlled by smartphones, tablets and televisions. Especially, televisions are in the best position to control those appliances because they sit in the center of individual households.
It has been a while since people started talking about consolidation of the smart phone and a television. The industry appears to find a realistic way out into the future as it is running into a second smart TV war