Soon, you won't have to reach for the credit card when buying digital content in your living room. LG is adding PayPal integration to its latest line of smart TVs, thus becoming the first manufacturer to do so.
LG said the feature is now available in its 2013 line of smart TVs in the U.S., Canada and U.K. It will arrive later this month for users in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Australia, with other markets to follow.
PayPal integration on LG's smart TVs means that you can now pay for video on demand and other services with your PayPal account, instead of having to enter your credit card, address details and password every time you make a purchase. You enter your PayPal details with the Magic Remote that comes with LG smart TVs, which controls an on-screen keyboard, and PayPal also offers a 'remember me' command.
Besides ease of use, PayPal integration has another practical application--it should make purchasing content and items through your TV more secure. With integrated webcams, Internet links, and your personal information stored on them, smart TVs can be an attractive target for hackers, as McAfee Labs security strategist Toralv Dirro previously told PCWorld. Security researchers have already found vulnerabilities for another brand of smart TV.
The next e-commerce platform
The LG-PayPal partnership is targeted for now at digital good bought via the smart TVs, but both companies indicated they are looking at expanding in this area to create a better ecosystem for consumers. For example, last month LG partnered with Spotify to bring the premium on-demand music service to its smart TV platform.
"We see Smart TV as a high-potential platform for commerce in the coming years, and we're thrilled to be at the forefront with LG in integrating the ease, security and functionality of PayPal directly into LG Smart TVs," Randall Davies, senior director of global business development at PayPal said in a press statement announcing the partnership. Richard Choi, senior vice president of the Smart Business Center at LG Electronics, echoed the comments: "Moving forward, it will also make it possible for LG to better integrate digital commerce with first-class home entertainment."
PayPal's Davies already hinted at what sort of integrations we might see first, suggesting in a blog post that "this new functionality is welcome news to charities and advertisers looking to engage a whole new audience at a time when they're receptive to donate or purchase."
Hopefully, it won't mean an extra layer of ads on top of your favorite shows.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.