Every year our TVs get new features. Most of them are forgotten before year-end. At CES, we saw new wireless technologies introduced, including NFC and Miracast that will be available in the new 2013 Smart TVs. FlatpanelsHD saw the new features in action at CES.
NFC & Miracast in 2013 Smart TVs
NFC (Near Field Communications) is a buzz word in the mobile industry. It allows two devices to authenticate and communicate in a near-field zone. Miracast is the counterpart to Apple's AirPlay and allows you to stream video, pictures and music from a smartphone or tablet onto the TV screen.
At CES 2013, Sony, Panasonic and LG all announced that they will introduce both NFC and Miracast in its respective 2013 Smart TVs. In short, the manufacturers want to authenticate mobile devices through NFC and let them stream content to the TV screen via Miracast.
Sony uses NFC to authenticate a smartphone (with NFC) by it back-to-back with the remote control
Sony demonstrated how they had integrated a NFC chip into the backside of a remote control. By holding your smartphone (with NFC) up against the remote control you can establish a connection, and start to stream video, pictures and music to the TV via Miracast or just mirror the entire smartphone screen.
Panasonic and LG want to do the same but have integrated the NFC chip into the TV so you have to get up and move over to the TV. Watch the demonstration video below.
Goes by many names
Even though all the systems are based on NFC and Miracast you will most likely see other names in marketing and on the TV boxes. The TV manufacturers have as always opted to use different names to differentiate the products. Sony calls it One-Touch Mirroring, LG calls it Tag On and Panasonic calls it Swipe & Share 2.0. Samsung already uses Miracast to power its AllShare Play technology.
NFC and Miracast will be implemented in some of the 2013 Smart TVs. If you have no intention to buy a new TV you can buy one of the new media boxes or Blu-ray players. In addition, it requires that your smartphone or tablet has NFC and Miracast. Only some of the very recent Android 4.2 models come with both.
Miracast is especially interesting as it offers an alternative to Airplay but the question is; what will happen to DLNA, WiDi, WiFi Direct and other wireless technologies that have already been implemented in Smart TVs? Is it possible to have too many technologies in a product?