ideation iteration illumination

Big news with the announcement of Google TV at Google I/O. This is a huge leap forward and actually brings the term interactive television closer to the¬†expectation¬†of it’s namesake. For a long time “interactive” with regard to television has been limited to basic playback controls, content streams, advertisements, SMS votes and other lower level transactions that pass for interaction, but really don’t make it “interactive” in the sense we’ve long had the appetite and aptitude for.

Armed with Googles massive library of API’s and android’s extensive open source penetration, this thing is gonna take the world by storm. Integration with phones, offers the opportunity to split the same TV ‘event’ experience across multiple users within a single context (ex. the living room). I with my phone, you with yours, in the same room can dually mediate a shared experience. Not augmented via telepresence like parallel play but colocation, actual you-me-now socializing. More like a video game, but entirely different. Most often, video games provide agency within a narrative. A compelling method, no doubt, but Google TV is poised to offer a different sort of communal screen based activity, more group collaboration.

TV has the cool notion of being an event (broadcast at pre-determined date and time) that causes viewers to gather, but we’ve traditionally done that passively, quietly, as we observe. That’s begun to change with more and more laptop computers and smartphones in the living room but now we can tie them all together. So now we have the very close network of individuals in a room, the extended person to person networks of our lives, the larger network of viewers of events, and the wide networks of the internet itself, all overlapping, digitally connected and participating around events. That’s massive. When we begin multiplying that by all the possible virtual connections and personal networks and media producers and media consumers and devices, the exponent is immense.

I can’t wait to see what happens when imaginations start taking over and we see (and help make) a new wave of applications that explore the new found wings of interactive television in what Google TV is promising to deliver.


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