Apple TV in the Workplace

Increasingly, the ever-so-faint line that distinguishes between work electronics and home electronics becomes even more translucent. This is, in large part, due to the consumerization of the way we work. It's not uncommon to find people work at home, and play at work (to some extent). I see it all the time, and it's not going away.

The Apple TV is certainly one of those products that appears (at least on the surface) to be a consumer device. Right? I disagree. Here's why.

To date, Apple has sold more than 500 million iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad). More than 92% of those devices now run iOS 6 (and we expect iOS 7 to be announced at next week's WWDC keynote). One of the most incredible features of iOS is the ability to "AirPlay" (a la stream) content (and in most cases the entire display) to an external display via Apple TV. Think of the implications: presentations, training videos, audio files... the possibilities are limited only to your imagination.

At this point, I think you probably get the picture, but let me elaborate a little more. I know only a few people who don't actively use an iPad and/or iPhone at work. I also don't know of many workplaces that don't have projectors and/or TVs installed throughout their buildings and in conference rooms. iOS device + Apple TV + display = employees doing pretty cool business-related things to make their point and present their ideas. This, in-turn, goes a long way to keep others engaged and focused on their work.

With all the upsides to using an Apple TV in the office, there is a downside. As of right now, the Apple TV lacks enterprise-grade control. For example, the ability to turn off the "fun" stuff (movies rentals, trailers, iTunes Store, etc). It may require a little social engineering, but as long as employees can resist the temptation, the Apple TV can be seen as a very powerful enterprise tool in the workplace. 

Posted on June 7, 2013 and filed under Opinion, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Mac.