KDDI and Peel — 2 Ways You'll Be Watching TV With Your iPhone and Android Next Year

The future of television is here and, yes, it's all about an app. Well, two, actually. One will turn your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a souped-up universal remote while the other lets you watch TV from Twitter tweets. Want to watch TV with @Allyssa_Milano or the writers of Saturday Night Live? We told you, there's an app for that.

The future of television is here and, yes, it’s all about an app. Well, two, actually. One will turn your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch into a souped-up universal remote while the other lets you watch TV from Twitter tweets. Want to watch TV with @Allyssa_Milano or the writers of Saturday Night Live? We told you, there’s an app for that.

Peel Technologies has unveiled its new Wi-Fi “fruit” hardware that turns users’ iPhone, iPad our iPod Touch into a wireless home entertainment remote. Shaped like an orange, hence the name, the device connects to the television and then listens to your iOS device’s gesture-based interface to find shows, change channels and adjust volume.

The hardware builds on the company’s free iPhone app that was released in October and lets users use their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to search for favorite TV shows, see recommendations for more TV based on the shows they liked and connect with to Facebook and Twitter friends to share their favorites.

Also on the path towards turning your mobile device into a social-media-powered TV remote is Japan-based KDDI R&D Labs, out with its own Social Remote Control for Android tablets.

The difference in KDDI’s social remote is found in its Twitter integration. Using hashtags, profile data, and tweet content, the app searches Twitter for the latest on what’s on TV, what is worth watching, and who is doing the watching.

Users can then use this real time feedback to choose the program they want to watch, tap their device and watch the content cue up on their TV. The app also has rating and voting features so users themselves can give feedback too.

While other products have tried to enter the market before, these apps appear to have finally crossed the threshold to deliver more streamlined and intuitive tools for finding, browsing, and cueing up TV content via the web.

But don’t pull yourself off the couch and away from the TV just yet to get the apps, both are still on the way.

The KDDI model is still in development with models, so far, only available in Japanese. Peel’s version is a bit closer, on the other hand, but consumers will have to do the bidding themselves, for now.

In an interesting twist on social integration, the company is opening the door to consumers to determine the hardware’s pricing. Through what they’re calling a “social campaign,” consumers can make a price offer on the Peel website, and the first units available will be shipped directly to the customers making the best offer. After that quantity is sold, Peel universal control will be available in major online and retail stores, and through the existing app.