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Providing Universally Connected Home Entertainment [Future Of Home Living]

PSFK Labs looks at how new technologies and services are changing the way we interact with the devices that fill our free time.

PSFK Labs
PSFK Labs on August 4, 2013. @psfk

Nielsen’s “A Look Across The Screens” cross-platform report from 2013’s first quarter reveals that “in the spectrum of evolving media, nothing is growing faster than the adoption of portable devices and the consumption of content on these devices. Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized our ability to be connected to each other and to our favorite shows at all times.” So, with all of our media consumed wirelessly, this raises the question of what form, physical or otherwise, the media we consume will take.

In a trend from our Future of Home Living report that we’re calling Entertainment Cloud, PSFK Labs examines how entertainment is shifting away from wires and cords to streaming cloud-based services and technologies that allow people to seamlessly access content when and where they want it. The on-demand nature of today’s music, movies and television alongside an ecosystem of devices is bringing new flexibility and fluidity to how people share and consume at home or on-the-go.

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One example of this trend is PLAiR. PLAiR is a handheld, portable device which plugs into a TV, and is able to independently stream content from the internet, without requiring constant connectivity from another computer. Connectable to any TV with a HDMI port, the device is a Wi-Fi-enabled HDMI dongle that can connect any smartphone to any television through an iOS or Android app. Users can view photos and videos stored on their phone, or in the cloud, including YouTube, CollegeHumor clips, CNN, and Vimeo. Its portable design allows users to take it with them wherever they go, immediately plug it to a display and stream content through their phone.

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Another is the wireless home music system Sonos. The Sonos Playbar is a home theater soundbar that can wirelessly stream music to other connected speakers no matter where they are located with a home and be controlled via a smartphone, tablet, or computer. The whole system can be controlled using a remote-control app that runs on Apple and Android devices. Using the app, people can choose to hear the same audio in different rooms of the house. Users can also control the Playbar with a TV remote, sending music directly to the speaker without having their TV on. Sonos also supports popular music services for mobile phones like Pandora and Spotify.

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Wireless streaming technologies such as PLAiR and the Sonos Playbar fall under a larger theme we’re calling On Demand, which points to networks and systems are growing to help city residents enjoy their lives on their terms and at the speed they want.

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PSFK has announced the latest in a series of trend reports. Following studies into retailsocial mediagamingwork and mobile, the PSFK Labs consulting team have generated the Future of Home Living report. That report manifests as a free summary presentation, an in-depth downloadable PDF and an exhibition in New York City that runs to August 16.

RSVP below to take a tour of the exhibition at 101W15th.

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