Last year we covered Peel, the universal remote control designed by Yves Behar that works together with your iPhone. The startup just revealed its newest capabilities for Peel at SXSW this year, which could change our behavior when it comes to watching TV.
When the iPad first came out along with subsequent releases of other tablets, one of the first trends we predicted was that the tablet would become a companion to TV watching, or a "second screen" as others like to call it. Tablets would provide viewers the opportunity to further engage with the content on TV in ways like connecting them to other viewers and engaging in conversation in real-time.
Many apps out there have been testing out the waters in this space, like Shazam, as we observed their collaborations with Pillsbury commercials over the holidays, serving up recipes whenever a viewer "shazamed" a commercial.
Peel is entering the social TV watching landscape in hopes to create one integrated experience. They want to allow you to control all your devices and connect socially just using Peel. Peel now lets you connect and interact while you're watching a show, to tweet directly and to purchase songs you hear while watching TV straight from iTunes.
Personally, I'm not into fiddling with a bunch of other devices while I'm watching TV, but I can understand the excitement of wanting to discuss the outcome of a show immediately after watching it (or even during), but I'd much rather do that in person with friends versus digitally. However, I do like the fact that Peel is aiming to consolidate all devices and communication for TV watching into one device - sort of like the Swiss Army knife of universal remotes.
How many of you already engage with a second screen while watching TV? Do you prefer it, or like watching TV old school style with no other distractions?