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 itâs 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.
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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: âWe have this in mind, and we will have a solution.â Lau didnât 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).
âAt present, we feel the current market of TVs is still feeling quite traditional in their functionality and experience,â said Lau. âAnd they havenât really well-integrated the internet into the experiences, and making the experience match with what would be expected in todayâs connected society.â
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.