The battle to build the best end-user experience has extended from the handheld computing space into an entirely new territory: the connected TV market. The players in the TV ecosystem including service providers, consumer electronics vendors and Over-the-Top content providers are aggressively vying for greater control, and the outcome of today’s struggle will define the digital living room experience of tomorrow. It is also evident that the player who can control the content and make it readily available will have a better chance to win the user experience battle.

What does the landscape look like?

The TV market is governed by a unique set of relationship dynamics among industry players and the end-user that challenges traditional models of competition and success. Service providers have historically exercised the greatest amount of influence over the value chain by virtue of their control over the distribution of content in the living room. The introduction and adoption of connectivity has provided consumer electronics vendors with a new frontier to expand their influence over the value chain, unlocking a world of opportunities to shape a more compelling user experience. The newfound ability to deliver a range of social and entertainment content has enabled manufacturers to accelerate the transformation of televisions into truly “smart media hubs” and they have not only embraced these opportunities, but expanded upon them by incorporating natural speech and gesture – based interfaces that have achieved unprecedented acclaim and adoption within the other consumer electronics markets.

Where does Nuance fit in?

Nuance unveiled Dragon TV in January — a software platform built upon our industry-leading speech and text-input technologies to solve the content discovery problems of the connected TV market. Dragon TV enables any player in the TV ecosystem to build their own applications, and with the full support of Nuance’s worldwide engineering expertise behind it, the options are endless. We believe strongly in the value of natural (speech) and familiar (text) interfaces and the crucial role they play in offering the unified living room content discovery and consumption experience. And we are equally certain that no single input mode will monopolize the future of content accessibility and control; rather, multiple input modes and technologies will be required to create the lean-back experience.

No single player in the connected TV ecosystem can deliver upon every facet of the connected living room experience. Rather, a truly intuitive solution can only be possible when multiple players, including OEMs, service and content providers, and solution providers collaborate to produce a seamless content discovery and consumption experience across platforms. In this scenario, the end-user gets the best of all worlds, and we believe that the market will see much more of this collaborative approach moving forward. As the connected TV market continues to grow, it will be interesting to see which industry players embrace this model of collaboration, and which among them struggle to adapt.