Samsung’s Smart TV – Is Technology Being Used Against Us?
Recently I saw a television commercial for Samsung’s new Smart TV.
The TV commercial showed off a variety of features from voice commands to gesture control technology. Visiting the company’s website allows us to see that the features go way beyond that. Apparently the built-in camera can go as far as recognizing users and logging them into Internet-based applications such as Facebook and Skype.
The TV also comes with an abundance of features and applications, and additional ones can be downloaded from Samsung’s website. Without a doubt, this is the next generation of high-definition, Internet accessible televisions, something that will set the standards for future televisions.
As a whole the Samsung Smart TV sounds pretty slick.
But when you look a little bit deeper, these features can easily be used against you as a person and as society as a whole.
Samsung Smart TV – TV commercial
Does this advancement in television seem like innocent entertainment, or do you see other issues that seem downright sinister?
One of the first things that I noticed with the Samsung Smart TV advertisement and webpage is that this TV has a lot of conveniences. But at what point do you draw the line and say that enough is enough for a TV’s features?
For example, is it really that important that you can do a Google search right on your TV? How about being able to use Twitter or Facebook right there in the living room on a great big display? That one seems a bit old fashioned as most people these days seem to be glued to the Twitter and FB apps on their laptops and smartphones, eliminating the need to also be able to access the sites on their home television.
Are people supposed to use the voice-recognition software to make Twitter and Facebook posts and comments? As lame as that would be, one benefit is that, thanks to the software, we’ll actually see people start spelling things correctly on the social networking sites. I wonder how well the software will be able to interpret slang and other terminology.
Is it really necessary that you can use voice-recognition technology to turn on your television, let alone using it to navigate to a main screen (a.k.a. “Smart Hub”)? Are people going to be so lazy that they’re actually going to prefer talking to their television like a master barking commands to a peasant?
Then again, when seeing the commercials for the Apple iPhone 4S Siri, perhaps many people really are that way.
CONSPIRACY ZONE - Since the television uses voice-recognition technology, what’s stopping a program or remote-issued command from recording and/or transmitting all conversations in the room? Wouldn’t it be rather easy for a company or organization to spy on a person or home?
One of the interesting things about the Samsung Smart TV is that it comes with a built-in video camera. This camera can be used for a variety of tasks such as a video phone for Skype, or recognizing your body’s movements and acting like a gesture control device. You can actually use your hand to move the cursor around the screen and make selections.
As cool as it sounds to move your hand to control the cursor, would people really use that feature? What if Samsung offered a motion controller such as Nintendo’s Wii Remote or PlayStation’s Move as a controller instead of a camera system similar to the Kinect accessory for the Xbox 360?
Why lift your arm and wave it in front of a camera when you can just move around a remote control? I think you know the answer to that one.
CONSPIRACY ZONE - What’s stopping a person, company or organization from turning on your television’s camera and watching you in your living room without your consent?
Yet another of the Samsung Smart TV’s features is that it uses facial recognition technology to recognize viewers and remember their account information for applications such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Skype. It will know who you are and easily allow you to log into your favorite applications in seconds.
CONSPIRACY ZONE #1 - Is it really a good thing for your television to know exactly who is watching it at that location at that very minute? What if that information was automatically sent to the company and any other person or organization?
CONSPIRACY ZONE #2 - With facial recognition technology, couldn’t the television / company know what shows each person in the room is watching at any given time? What if it were to go further and record positive and negative reactions to shows and commercials, relaying that information (without your consent, mind you) to TV networks and advertising agencies?
How many people out there would honestly like to have a video camera always staring at them at all times, never knowing if it’s ever recording their actions? Then again, how many people are already dealing with that issue with webcams built into their laptops?
Dumbing down of society:
This gets back to the whole “too many conveniences” statement discussed earlier in this article.
My theory is that when you make things more convenient and accessible for a person, then the dumber that person will eventually become. No longer will that person have to use alternate methods or sources to solve a problem or complete a task. Critical thinking will be less of an issue as electronic accessories and software will read your body’s signals and make those decisions for you.
As far as Internet research and applications, first we had desktop computers. After that came laptops, net books, smartphones, and now all of that built into cars.
But to throw all of that into your television set? Really?!? It’s one thing to have access to things like Netflix and Hulu, websites that offer streaming and downloadable TV shows and movies. But throwing in other accessories, including the whole voice recognition and gesture control, and it just gets ridiculous. Whatever happened to televisions just focusing on larger display screens and sharper resolutions?
I get it that conveniences are great, and when used properly, they can greatly benefit society and people as a whole. But when appliances, electronics, and even automobiles go out of their way to make people so comfortable and happy, does it really benefit them in the end? The answer is no.
Does this mean that the Samsung Smart TV is going to destroy civilization?
No, certainly not. The product is just part of a disturbing trend that continues the overall downward spiral of society.
The Apple iPhone 4S Siri, on the other hand, is a product that will help destroy civilization. The people using that product in the TV commercials are so stupid and helpless that they can no longer function in life without help of the phone. Just wait until future generations of people are more reliant and dependent on technology such as that. The phone’s software will plan help everything from a person’s outfit to their meals and ultimately their bowel movements.
Another one of my theories is that the average person was actually smarter in the 1950s and 1960s when compared to today. Our overall knowledge base has significantly increased since then, but a person’s brainpower and critical thinking skills have actually decreased. The same is true with the average person’s social skills, but for not as long of a time period. That’s a more recent trend.
It’s great that technology continues to advance at a quick pace. It’s just disheartening when those advances cost us jobs in the workplace and also decrease the average person’s intelligence.
For more information about the Samsung Smart TV, please visit their company website: http://www.samsung.com/us/2012-smart-tv/