Tablets To Become a Fixture of the Living Room of the Future? You Betcha!

While it’s not intuitive to think of a mobile device like a tablet as a ‘fixture’ anywhere, since that goes against the very idea of ‘mobile’ computing, there are plenty of technology and lifestyle analysts who think that the tablet will be one of the key devices which shape the future of home entertainment, including television, in living rooms everywhere. Whether it’s the iPad Mini being touted as the “ideal second screen device” or the tablet of a competitor, the fact is that both consumers and businesses are starting to pick up on the potential of the tablet to augment the entertainment experience and, incidentally, support brands, drive sales, so much more. For businesses, there’s been a fair amount of attention paid to the fact that tablet users are more likely to shop online. Over a year ago, the Wall Street Journal shared some statistics:

Tablets still account for only a small percentage of overall e-commerce, but they are punching above their weight. While the conversion rate—orders divided by total visits—is 3% for shoppers using a traditional PC, it is 4% or 5% for shoppers using tablets, says Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester Research.

Many retailers also report that tablet users place bigger orders—in some cases adding 10% to 20% more to the tab—on average than shoppers using PCs or smartphones.

Those figures have meaning for broadcasters and advertisers looking for that extra edge in the battle for consumer eyeballs, attention spans and disposable income.

Companion apps like this concept for A&E's "America: The Story of US are just one type of second screen app.

Consumers find great utility in tablets as well and are actively seeking them out. As Lost Remote reports, they’re the hot ticket this year and for the near future:

They’re the fastest-growing consumer electronics device ever made: 31% of online Americans now own a tablet, more than doubling the ownership rate from October of last year (14%). Nearly half (45%) of online consumers told the Consumer Electronics Association that they expect to purchase a tablet within the next two years, and tablets are the #1 “most wanted gift” for adults this holiday season, according to the CEA survey released this week.

[T]his second screen explosion is setting up a phenomenal opportunity for startups, technology giants and media companies to engage with TV viewers like never before. Because before long, just about everyone will own a tablet. Since 85% of US tablet owners use their tablets while watching TV, according to Nielsen, the couch computer has arrived.

All this indicates that the future of the tablet as as second screen in the living room is pretty much assured. Well past the ‘first adopter’ market segment, that 31% (and growing) market penetration figure combined with the 85% use figure promises an entirely new vista to explore. The key question is how will media companies move forward? I’m willing to bet that the TV in 10 years…heck, 2 years will be a significantly changed experience from what we know today.