Managing The Second Screen. And The Third. And Everything Else.


In case you missed it, back last October Gary posted a brief, to-the-point blog post entitled Are You Thinking Ahead? The Smartphone Is Killing the Large-Screen TV.

Take the time to read it now, if you haven’t already.

I’m going to take the opportunity to support his thesis with my own observations.

He’s absolutely correct that, for the modern household the TV is no longer the locus of people’s entertainment choices.

My kids, left to their own devices (no pun intended) are more interested in watching video or gaming on their iPads than in either watching streaming video or console gaming on the big screen downstairs.

And they’re not alone. Both my wife and I watch more video or play games on our own iPads.

Console gaming? Never seems to happen.

That we sat together as a family on New Year’s Eve and watched a movie downstairs was a singular event, it so seldom happens these days.

Knowing that, when the basement was being renovated following being flooded on the May long weekend last year (the consequences of which I’ve blogged about once or twice), I was extremely ambivalent about rebuilding the AV system in the media room at all, given how little use it gets these days.

Still, I rebuilt it anyway under the pretext that it’s better to have something and not need it than need it and not have it.

Getting back on topic here, what I’m seeing, both in my own home, and in the homes of friends, are just what Gary described: disparate systems that aren’t tied together through control services.

I’ve taken steps to correct that. I’m currently experimenting with the networked Simple Control system. I had initially gone with it for control of the media room, and am now pondering expanding its reach to integrating lighting and HVAC control.

One friend of mine has been amusing himself by tinkering with variable-color WiFi enabled LED bulbs around his house.

They’re pretty, but the disparate control apps on his phone could be improved upon.

Tablets, smartphones, Bluetooth audio, lighting and smart thermostats. The analogy I’m leaning towards is of the circus performer who keeps plates spinning on the ends of long poles.

Keeping all those different plates spinning is dependent upon two things: power, and Internet.

Managing those two essential components of the modern home, and simplifying the control of everything else is where managed services come in.