New Trends in Smart TV Control, Pexeso and Neopong Games

With the growing number of users who employ their TVs not only to consume the content but also for interactive entertainment, control using the conventional remote control proves to be unable to fulfil growing users’ demands for comfortable and intuitive control.

As we do not want to fall behind either, we actively follow new trends in SmartTV control and test selected methods in conjunction with our products.

An example of this can be the control of Pexeso application developed for Český rozhlas (Czech Radio), which uses a tablet, thus sparing the player from lengthy selection of cards using cursor keys on the remote control, and doing the trick with a single click on the well-arranged tablet display. This communication is an example of the use of the Samsung TV interface where Pexeso (known as Memory abroad) is the first Czech game for SmartTVs enabling this method of control. Pexeso Smart TV application is intended in particular to children, so the tablet control has been designed with an emphasis on simple control without the need to solve technical issues.

Upon initial start-up, the application automatically detects all TV sets connected to the networks and offers them to the user. After making the selection, the TV is saved and used for next start-ups. Voice control proven from mobile phones slowly becomes part of top smart TV model menus, but it is mostly still limited to the English language and a good Internet connection. Gesture control, which is widely used in game consoles, is more interesting from this point of view. Unlike the game consoles, SmartTV gesture control only relies on camera scanning (for example, Kinect for Xbox-360 uses an infrared projector in addition to the camera).

To test the possibilities of gesture control, a game named Neopong was created with the classical concept known from the times of first computers but with something innovative as its name indicates. The player stands in front of the Smart TV and starts the game by waving. The player’s task is to bounce the ball with the palm of the hand represented by the cursor on the TV. The game can be played on top Samsung 2012 models (7xxx and 8xxx series). With the growing performance of TVs and possibilities of development in C++, we expect improvement of detection and extension to lower model series. We are going to follow trends in Smart TV development and test new technologies.