After a long two-year wait, Sky is finally launching its new device, Sky Live, this week – a clever interactive camera designed exclusively for Sky Glass.
The new 12MP camera promises to revolutionize home entertainment by turning your TV into a hub for exercise, video calls, gaming and shared viewing experiences.
Sky Live, available from £6 per month (see full pricing details below) is designed to be more than just a TV accessory – but it only works with Sky’s own TV – Sky Glass. Unfortunately, it’s not even compatible with Sky’s cheap streaming alternative – the Sky Stream puck.
And while Sky Live flaunts an arsenal of innovative features, it also evokes a twinge of nostalgia. Microsoft’s Kinect camera, a once-revolutionary concept for the XBOX released in 2010 and eventually shelved, casts a long shadow over it.
Fraser Stirling, Global Chief Product Officer at Sky, claims the company that “surprised the world” with Sky Glass in 2021 is now set to do it again with Sky Live.
But it’s worth noting that the original announcement and expected release were set for two years ago. In the fast-paced world of tech, can Sky Live still hold its ground?
Sky Live’s Virtual Gym
One of the more interesting promises of Sky Live is turning your television into a home gym – even if it’s not something we haven’t seen before.
With the exclusive Mvmnt fitness app, Sky Live aims to bring the gym to your living room by offering a suite of over 130 interactive workouts. These range from strength and mobility routines to Pilates and yoga classes, ensuring there’s something to fit all abilities and preferences.
This is not just a collection of recorded sessions, though. The built-in Body Tracking technology is designed to improve your exercise technique by analyzing your form in real-time, offering feedback as you move, and even counting your reps.
This sounds like a significant step up from the traditional home workout, potentially adding an interactive and personalized touch often missing from the experience.
The Mvmnt app was developed in partnership with WithU and qualified coaches. The hope here is to provide innovative and easy ways to workout from home on the big screen. The premise is appealing and, if it delivers, could be a game-changer for those who prefer (or need) to work out at home.
Moreover, there is a companion mobile app for Mvmnt that extends the functionality beyond your TV screen. The app promises real-time feedback on your form directly on your mobile device. It also offers tools for planning workouts, tracking personal progress, and sharing on social media.
While this all sounds innovative and useful on paper, the real test will come once users put the Mvmnt app through its paces. Can it really compete with a gym membership, or even other home workout apps and platforms?
Sky Live’s Motion Control Games
Sky Live includes Motion Control technology that uses AI-powered body tracking and gesture control for hands-free gaming.
Customers will be able to use their body as the controller in fun active games like Starri, PAW Patrol PAWsome fitness and Fruit Ninja, With more games like Peppa Pig coming soon.
With Live, you can play solo at home, or challenge family and friends to join in a range of multiplayer games and experiences like Monopoly.
With VideoBooth, you can capture short videos and photos on your Sky Glass. You can also immerse yourself in some of your favourite TV shows and films with AR filters for PAW Patrol,
Motion-controlled gaming was a craze a few years back with consoles like the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft’s Kinect, but at the time, those were geared more towards hard-core gamers.
Sky’s implementation aims to make motion-controlled gaming more accessible, when all you need are Sky’s TV – and the Live camera.
Video Calling With Zoom On Sky Live
Arguably one of the more timely features of Sky Live is its integration with the globally recognized video-calling platform, Zoom.
This utility facilitates video calling straight from your living room sofa to virtually any device, anywhere.
Sky is pitching the possibility of having clearer, more comfortable conversations through HD video displayed on the big screen. The idea of discarding the often tedious process of managing iPads, laptops, or mobiles during a video call and just leaning back on your sofa while conversing does sound inviting.
The Auto-Tracking function promises to keep everyone in the shot, while the inclusion of background noise suppression technology should theoretically ensure a clearer audio experience.
This could be particularly appealing in households with a busy background or those simply seeking a more seamless and professional virtual meeting setup.
An added convenience is the ability to switch a call from your mobile device to your TV, assuming you’re logged into the same account on Sky Live.
The simplicity of using your existing Zoom credentials to log in may seem like a minor feature but could be a time-saver for regular Zoom users.
However, the question remains: In an age where almost every device – from our laptops to our phones – is already equipped with video calling capabilities, is the addition of yet another platform in our living room truly a significant step forward, or is it simply an exercise in redundancy?
There aren’t a lot of devices that support Zoom calling via a TV – Amazon’s Fire TV Cube supports it, for example, but the implementation is somewhat complicated.
So if things are easier with Sky Live – there’s certainly some potential here.
Watch Together On Sky Live
The Watch Together feature is a nice touch in our increasingly connected world, enabling shared TV experiences even when you’re not in the same location.
Many Streaming services like Disney+ and Netflix have already introduced similar features – but connecting a camera to your TV was was hard part so far.
Sky Live: Simple Setup
The camera itself touts a design aimed at simplicity and privacy, aligned with the credentials of its predecessor, Sky Glass. The device claims an easy setup process that seemingly does away with the clutter often associated with tech products.
No remotes, headsets, or controllers are required for its operation. Instead, it features a magnetic base that sits securely on top of your Sky Glass, requiring only a cable connection to the TV – Sky Live will take up an HDMI port on your Sky Glass, and also connects to the TV’s USB port.
As for privacy, Sky Live includes a dedicated button for switching the camera and microphone on and off – a feature that should appeal to the security-conscious among us.
An off-front light signals that the device is completely off, reassuring users that their conversations won’t be recorded or overheard when they’re not actively using the device.
Sky Live Pricing
Sky Live is available to buy starting today – directly from Sky’s website or in Sky’s retail stores.
As with Sky Glass, the cost depends on whether you pay upfront, or in instalments (24 or 48 months).
If you pay upfront, Sky Live costs £290. Then there’s the option to pay £6 per month with interest-free credit on a 48-month contract, or £12 per month on a 24-month contract.
However, to celebrate the launch, Sky seems is running a special promotion for existing Sky Glass customers – so as of this writing, Sky Live is just £242 if you pay upfront, £5/month for 48 months, or £10/month for 24 months.
As with Sky Glass, these payments aren’t a subscription – they’re basically a loan, that you will be repaying over 24 or 48 months.
As mentioned, you must have Sky Glass for the Sky Live camera to work – so if you don’t already have Sky Glass, you can buy the two together.
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