Research shows AirPlay is top screen-mirroring service, but tech barriers still limit use

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Research shows AirPlay is top screen-mirroring service, but tech barriers still limit use

A recent study by NPD shows that 40 percent of smartphone and tablet owners are aware their devices have screen-mirroring capabilities. Men and 18- to 34-year-olds have the highest awareness of the option of any groups in the study. People know they can share content from their device screen to their TV screen, but usage doesn't match awareness. The study found that only 7 percent of smartphone and tablet owners actually made use of screen sharing.

According to John Buffone, director of devices at NPD, "Screen-sharing solutions are somewhat new, many only launched in 2012, so we don't expect a lot of consumers to be using the technology yet. The awareness number is a positive indicator and will help build the foundation to engage more consumers with second-screen experiences."

Apple AirPlay leads the top three services in awareness, with Samsung AllShare and Xbox SmartGlass in second and third place respectively. Still, only 3 percent of tablet and smartphone owners said they were using AirPlay for mirroring their devices.

Buffone links the small usage of services with the proprietary nature of streaming on many of these devices. "Currently, several of the screen-mirroring applications such as AirPlay and AllShare require specific devices to operate. Bringing screen-sharing experiences to a larger consumer base will require simplifying hardware requirements as well as amplifying the value of being able to share content across screens."

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