Samsung just introduced a bunch of new super-HD smart TVs at the Consumer Electronics Conference in Las Vegas, but the most striking thing the company previewed is a feature that’s still in development.
The conceptual software gives people a new way to share content like music, photos, and videos from their phones with their friends through their TV. Everyone will be able to use their smartphones to fling their choices onto a shared interface.
So, for example, if you’re hanging out with a group you can all queue up your favourite songs to play from your TVs speakers. Samsung’s calling the feature “Media Square.”
The funny catch: Songs will be played in order of how many votes each one gets, and friends will be able to delete songs their friends suggested.
For example, if you’re really feeling some Rilo Kiley, you’ll be at the mercy of your friends using their phones to “like” your choice. If they’re all craving some Katy Perry, you’ll be out of luck, with your songs stuck forever at the end of the list. Worse still, you may face the insult of seeing all your picks straight up deleted.
Here’s what each person’s control panel looks like on their phones:
And here’s the interface on the TV (note how you can see little hearts with a number next to each song, indicating how many likes it has received):
“If you want to start a really big fight, you could start deleting other people’s tracks,” another Samsung spokesperson laughed when Business Insider asked about the feature.
Media Square’s design and engineering lead, Jinha Lee, told Business Insider that letting groups of friends deejay their parties collectively needed some sort of voting feature because “some people have crappy music taste.”
Though starting fights could be a consequence of Media Square’s delete button, that isn’t really Samsung’s goal.
“We really put a lot of thought into this,” Lee continued. “Connecting private media to the public realm is really challenging. Some people might be scared about it. So if you share something by mistake that you don’t want to share, we wanted to give you a way to delete it.”
Right now, Media Square only lets people share music and photos hosted locally on their phones, so the company is trying to drum up excitement about the feature to convince big players like Spotify or Amazon Music to integrate with streaming services. And it’s not just media that Samsung ultimately wants to hook up with.
For example, if a bunch of people are trying to pick out where to eat, they could throw out restaurant recommendations from Yelp, or other food finding apps, and then vote on the best one.
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