Single Application, Separate Uses
I hate trying to use my mouse on my TV. I struggled with this problem first with my first BluRay* player, which happened to be inside my new computer. I was so excited to finally experience BluRay. However, pausing the movie soured the improved picture experience. I had to get up, walk over to my computer, mouse to the BluRay software’s control panel on the TV, and then hit the teeny-tiny button from 10’ away. I tried both a wireless mouse and a Windows* Media Center remote and it was still not satisfying. The space between me and the bigger screen makes accuracy with a pointer very difficult. I am asking for the option to have a better 10’ experience with my applications
Mouse Control from 10 Feet
Remote Control from 10 Feet
Figure 1 Home Dual Screen Setup
At work, I have two screens about 2’ from me with the desktop is expanded. I use these screens as one larger screen, keeping multiple panes of multiple programs open at once. This model works great for 2’ control, not for 10’ consumption.
Figure 2 Workplace Dual Screen Setup
Figure 3 Extended Desktop View
When I leave the cubicle, I prefer less work and more enjoyment on my TV. Big screens are better for most things, but they fail in most interactive experiences, unless the application - like a game - is designed specifically to take the distant control into account. I watch sports and movies on my big screen TV. That’s pretty much it. No games for me. Since I have my computer hooked up to TV, getting a mouse to the right spot is a pain. Watching recordings on a screen that’s not 2’ in front of me is great. Controlling the computer software and picking which show to watch on that distant screen is NOT great at all. My challenge to all you developers out there – make my experience better!
I want to launch my movie and control it from my local “2-foot” screen, while doing other things on my computer. I want more software to take full advantage of that entire reserve horsepower. What can be added to applications to let all of us do more on the PC? I’d like to be able to organize my movie collection while watch a movie – in the same application.
We all know programs that take advantage of dual-screen setup. Powerpoint* or Keynote* presentations are often run in “Presenter’s View,” which gives the presenter access to their speaker notes and the presentation independently.
The photographer’s workflow application, Adobe* Lightroom*, has become one of my mainstays. When I review my images with clients at home, Lightroom displays an uncluttered view of an image on my big screen while I manage the metadata/details/edit the session’s collection on my smaller screen.
When the customer says they like the image, I rate the image and add print sizes on the screen that is closer without distracting the customer’s review experience.
Work Screen View
Customer Screen View
Figure 4 Lightroom Dual Screens – Single Application, Separate Views
When projected large, like the size of a wall, the images are stunning and clear. I can almost see the orders in the twinkle of my customer’s eyes as she views her wedding day.
If you don’t have access to any of the programs I’ve mentioned, and would like to experience the “control from 2’, consume from 10’ model” you can download an application Intel recently released. Intel® WiDi Media Share Software for Windows enables you to browse and share photos and videos on your computer with a second screen while controlling the second screen’s content from the first.
While this technology may look attractive to many YouTube dads like me, my photographer side is jazzed that it improves my client’s review experience and in turn, my income.
About the author
Tim Duncan is an Intel Engineer and is described by friends as “Mr. Gidget-Gadget”. Currently helping developers integrate technology into solutions, Tim has decades of industry experience, from chip manufacturing to systems integration. Tim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, plays bass (sousaphone too). He loves his family, dogs and the outdoors. Find him on the Intel Developer Zone as Tim Duncan (Intel)
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