Great News! Honeycrisp, Inc. has just announced the development of a new product that is going to revolutionize television viewing. It is the best thing to happen to tv since color programming! This new product will read your body language and vital signs and determine your favorite programming. Then, it will automatically change the channel for you. This is great! It is wonderful! Is it really? Let’s think about the reality of this development.
I can think of one good result from this development. It is the disappearance of remote controls. There will no longer be a need for them. This product makes channel surfing obsolete. It will determine what you are interested in watching and change it to that channel for you. You will no longer have to search from program to program to find one that will keep you interested. That decision is already made for you. It will create less stress in your life because you will not have to hunt for the lost remote. You will not have to share it with others. You can just sit back and enjoy your program.
At first glance, this seems like a very good idea but, would it really work that effectively? How would this product handle several people watching tv? Would it scan everyone and decide which program the majority would enjoy? Would it flip from program to program so everyone can watch a little bit of something they like? Would it come with something that would allow you to select a primary viewer to scan and go with their results? I know that in my household, this could be a problem. We all have different tastes in programming. We all have different interests. It can be a big negotiation for everyone to watch the same program. How is this new product equipped to handle this situation? The only way I can see this product working effectively in our home is to be able to choose a primary viewer. That is what we do now so this new product does not really bring any new advantages to our house.
Another concern is with the programming itself. If this product decides what you are interested in watching, is that going to limit the choices you have? Is programming going to be so specific that writers and producers quit trying to find new things for people to watch? Are we going to end up with just a few networks that offer a specific type of programming? There might be one that offers only children’s programming. There may be one that has only sports. There may be one that only has news. Oh, wait. That is the way cable is already set up. The difference between now, and the way things could be with this new product is the viewers have a choice of which channel to watch. With this product, it selects a channel for you. I believe this could limit the channels that are available. It could create a product offering that is open to the highest bidder. What I mean is: Owners of the channels will pay Honeycrisp to program this new product to change the channel to their program when the scan shows the viewer would like to watch a certain type of program. This would limit choices considerably.
Something that might be good about limiting the choices that people have is that everyone would be watching the same programs. It would give all the people who are interested in watching a comedy the same comedy. Then they could talk about it over the water cooler at work the next day. It would create shared experiences that would connect people. Think of it like a small town football game that everyone can talk about and relive until the next one. It may just end up bringing people together in a way they have not been connected in a long time.
Honestly, this could be a great thing if you watch tv by yourself, don’t know what you want to watch, and just want to relax, melt into your couch, and let someone else make the choices for you. Other than that, I think this product would limit your choice and take away some of the adventure of watching tv. I know one of the things I really like is to watch something I never thought I would like and finding out it is actually really interesting. I don’t want a product that takes that away from me. So, for me, I don’t think this is the best thing to happen to tv since color programming.