Smartphone maker OnePlus is plotting a smart TV for 2019

Can it replicate its success in another crowded space?

OnePlus is plotting a smart TV

You probably know OnePlus as the underdog of the smartphone world, taking on Apple and Samsung on specs for a fraction of the price. For its next trick, the company has announced it’s eyeing up the smart TV space.

Pete Lau, founder and CEO of OnePlus, told Business Insider that the Chinese company is creating a new division to build its first smart TV. Lau thinks today's smart TV crop isn't as smart as it thinks it is, and he envisions a more seamless connection between the TV, smartphone and AI smart assistants.

Read this: How to control your Fire TV using an Echo

In fact, Lau envisions having an AI assistant living on the TV - something already employed by some current smart TV sets - displaying calendar events, commute time etc, while also letting user share photos and videos between the TV and smartphone without having to use an app.

Lau also said the TV will have a built-in camera, although tried to allay the usual privacy fears: “We have this in mind, and we will have a solution.” Lau didn’t say which AI assistant OnePlus might be going with, but said the company is in talks with the big names (i.e Amazon, Google etc).

“At present, we feel the current market of TVs is still feeling quite traditional in their functionality and experience,” said Lau. “And they haven’t really well-integrated the internet into the experiences, and making the experience match with what would be expected in today’s connected society.”

Lau's ideas all sound pretty familiar; TVs with Chromecast built in already let users beam content from their phone to their set, while Alexa and Google Assistant have started popping up in televisions from various companies.

But it sounds like OnePlus wants to refine this into something more seamless - a proper hub of the smart home. The question is: can it replicate its success in smartphones in another crowded space?

Hopefully we'll find out next year, as Lau says the company is planning a 2019 launch for the TV set, with a strategy to improve the smarts over the five years post-launch via software updates.

TAGGED   televisions

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