The 5 Coolest Features on Your Next TV, Maybe

In a few years, these features might be the coolest thing about your new TV.

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New TV tech misses the mark quite often. But with a little work, some of the latest features could change the game. Here are five of the coolest controls and content-delivery systems that will make your next TV great...maybe.

Touch-Free Controls


Already, we're seeing touch-free televisions start to use their arm-waving tech in fun, different ways, but only a handful of TVs are implementing this technology. Hands-free tech is useful for launching irate birds at high speeds, but high-speed channel flipping between Are You Being Served? and Hangin' with Mr. Cooper is still a ways off. Someday, it'll be on the level of Minority Report.

Cloud Gaming

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Samsung seems to be on the cutting edge of gaming, but don't think about replacing your Xbox anytime soon. While companies like OnLive are letting gamers play games without owning multiple consoles,

TVs simply don't have the processing power to run process-intensive games, including any Triple-A games. We predict that eventually, games will just come preloaded with your TV. But until then, gaming society will have to keeping hooking up their Xboxes, or stick to playing simple time-wasters like Dracula's Castle, pictured above.

Voice Commands

"TV." "_Yes, sir?_" "Increase brightness by 12%." "_Right away, sir._" "TV." "_Yes, sir?_" "...I love you." "_Thank you, sir._"

Human-television interaction isn't quite at this level yet, but in TVs like the Samsung E8000, it's starting to get there. Who wouldn't mind exchanging small-talk with the telly in exchange for never losing the remote again?

To be fair, voice commands are a weak point on every kind of gadget; even Siri on the iPhone 4S is unreliable. But advancing the tech just far enough to record Judge Judy on request shouldn't be a problem at all.

Glasses-Free 3D

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They're ugly, they're goofy, they're altogether stupid. A multitude of negative factors inhibit what could be the coolest new gimmick in boob-tubing. Fortunately, we might not have to wait long to see 3D without glasses.

Nintendo has already proved that it can be done, but the auto-stereoscopic technology locks the viewer into one of a small handful of "sweet-spots" near the screen. Having your friends gather around the TV could be just as cumbersome as having them pass around a pair of 3D glasses, but at least we're getting somewhere. Toshiba is leading the charge, but it could be a long time until the TVs are compelling enough to reach the market.

Apps

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Television web browsing is a lost cause, but dedicated apps could be useful. Netflix and Hulu make it relatively painless to watch movies, but we'd like to see other apps step up and do some incredible things. Facebook and Twitter could better implement social interaction during live broadcasts. Watching YouTube could be a lot faster and more intuitive.

In five years, there might be hundreds of new TV apps we can't even imagine right now, and we're excited to see what's coming down the pipeline.

Are there any TV features that you'd like to see implemented better or expanded upon? Leave a comment below!

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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