17 April 2012

Does Ikea TV Beat Apple to the Punch?

In his biography Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson quotes the Apple founder as saying
“I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ he told me. ‘It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.’ No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. ‘It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”
Among those interested in the evolution of television, this quote has taken on a Fermat's Last Theorem-like quality.

However, it looks like Ikea -- yes, Ikea -- may make the first big step forward with a TV that simplifies the interface and, perhaps more importantly, tames the rat's nest of wires. The solution seemingly harks back to the console stereo of the mid-sixties.
Stereo phonograph, tuner, amplifier, speakers and legs
According to Engadget, this all-in-one cabinet, TV set and Blu-Ray player will be available in this fall at a price of around $960. While some of the functionality and specs are clear from the video embedded below, we'll all have to wait on the rest, like screen size. The interface is at least a little reminiscent of the pricey Bose VideoWave set, which All Things Digital's Peter Kafka noted as a potential starting point for the mythic Apple device.

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