A few days ago, we wrote a little bit about SlimPort and some of the potential of the technology. To summarize, the SlimPort is a new technology built into the micro-USB connection on mobile devices. This technology allows you to connect a mobile device to an external display and view the exact same content on said display, with no loss of quality, without using any additional power. This alone is exciting, but companies like Viaplay are building products that have to potential to transform the way we think about SlimPort technology and mobile computing as a whole.
As smartphones and tables are becoming more powerful at an exponential rate, we are on the precipice of a major technological breakthrough. Samsung and Panasonic (and others) have devoted large amounts of resources towards building and improving the smart TV, but the rise of SlimPort my completely destroy the market for these TVs before they even begin to approach widespread adoption.
After visiting the Viaplay booth at CES, I am even more convinced that the SlimPort will kill smart TVs. Viaplay offers several products than can make regular TVs smart and smart TVs even smarter. It all starts with the Viaplay Via-TV SlimPort dongle adapter (left). This dongle serves a SlimPort adapter with the added bonus of enabling a full Android OS (above) on the external display.
The Viaplay SlimPort adapter turns your TV into a smart TV, but the problem of usability arises. It would be a real hassle if you had to control everything directly from the mobile device that is connected to the adapter. Fear not, Viaplay has built several different smart controllers.
From left to right, Viaplay offers the Via-Remote H1, the Via-Remote C, and the Via-Gamepad F2. The Via-Remote H1 is a Bluetooth enabled touchpad mouse / keyboard combo optimized for Android; it includes multi-touch gesture support such a pinch-and-zoom, scroll, and drag. The Via-Remote C has a full QWERTY touchscreen keyboard with haptic feedback, and includes a multitouch touchpad; further, In gaming mode it has a full set of HID compatible gaming keys and a G sensor for playing tilt games. The Via-Gamepad F2 is Viaplay’s smart gamepad that works as a standalone gamepad with a cellphone attached to its cellphone holder, or it works with any Slimport enabled mobile device.
As SlimPort technology becomes more widespread, which I imagine it will, companies like Viaplay are poised to bring mobile computing to the big screen. The SlimPort makes the seamless mobile to external display connection available, but the companies building compatible hardware – like Viaplay – will unlock the true potential of SlimPort. Now, all we need is for SlimPort to expand beyond these few devices.