IF YOU SUBSCRIBE to the philosophy that a smartphone is just a baby TV, then OnePlus' latest business move may sound like common sense. For everyone else, it's come completely out of left field.
The Chinese company, best known for popping out affordable but powerful smartphones to challenge the likes of Apple and Samsung, is turning its eyes to something a bit less portable: television sets. While companies like Samsung, Sony and LG made TVs long before phones even had screens, OnePlus has decided to reverse the process.
"We want to bring the home environment to the next level of intelligent connectivity," wrote OnePlus CEO Pete Lau in a forum post.
"To do this, we are building a new product of OnePlus' premium flagship design, image quality and audio experience to more seamlessly connect the home. We call it: OnePlus TV."
And no, this isn't just a misunderstanding title - it's not a product like Apple TV which doesn't actually have a screen. This is definitely smart TV.
Some might argue that in an age where you can have your television automatically record every episode of Columbo as it airs, technology - and indeed society - has peaked. Lau, though, wants to see a device that links seamlessly with other smart technology and continue to get smarter in the years after it's purchased.
"It won't be something that's perfect and absolutely complete and revolutionary from the start," Lau told Business Insider. "So we can't get everyone's hopes up too soon."
So yes, we're talking AI, streaming and all the rest of it - but it will also have a camera, just in case you prefer your TV to watch you, rather than the traditional other way around. Lau is aware of the enormous privacy concerns with that and adds that "we have this in mind, and we will have a solution." Though technically ‘ignoring privacy advocates' could be billed as a solution, I guess.
The whole look of things isn't completely mapped out yet. In the accompanying press release, the company says it is open to feedback and is "constantly listening". Sounds like it's got the most creepy element of the smart home wrapped up, then... µ
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