Watch Two Separate Programs on the Same Television

The argument is as old as time: what to do when two people want to watch two separate programs but only have one television. There have been services in the past that have tried to work around this dilemma by displaying multiple channels on one screen or utilizing DVR to time-shift one of the programs for later viewing, but these advances are adept at merely providing quick information—like the scores of multiple sport games—than leisure viewing. However, at CES 2013 this week, Samsung unveiled the dual-view OLED TV, which will allow two people to look at the same screen and watch totally different programs.

How does the television work? Adapting 3D technology, the television displays a different image to the viewer depending on whether they’re sitting to the left or the right of the screen. To the naked eye, the images on the screen look ghosted, but when special glasses are donned, a viewer is able to toggle between the two separate television signals at full HD (1080p). While for average television watching, this may not be a favorable solution—as audio will have to come through the eyewear’s headphones—but for the world of gaming, this could really revolutionize multi-player game playing. Instead of split-screens, which limits the amount of viewing space, separate players could utilize full-screen POV on the same screen.

While the television system is not the perfect solution to arguments over what to watch on television, this is a direction that I suspect other television producers will begin to explore, especially for the gaming industry. Additionally, along with products like Google Glass and the just-unveiled Vuzix M100, eyewear is an integral part of technological advancements, and this is the kind of product that events like CES are meant for: the “next big thing.”