The future of television¡KIt¡¦s not that far away.
The Eric Kim keynote kicked off with a demonstration of a variety of engaging, future-forward applications, for television in particular. Of course, the Star Trek analogies emerged. The special surprise was a guest appearance by LeVar Burton, who pumped up the crowd, calling for innovation and creativity, and reminding us that flip phones started life as fictional tricorders.
What all that led up to was that we need innovations¡Xspecifically in user experience¡Xand business models to move this technology into living rooms.
Breakthrough technology, a good user experience (content service, purpose), and a solid business model. All three must converge. Radio, telephone, television¡Xinnovative technologies that took years (and sometimes full generations) to realize successful business models.
Fortunately, there are plenty of innovations in user experience right now. Here are some of my takeaways from recent sessions.
CE3100 launched last year Q3, enabling unique capabilities for rich interactive TV. Suri Medapati came out to do a demonstration, and talked about emerging codecs. I hadn¡¦t heard of White Wine before, but it enables high-def video experiences. It allows implementation of new technologies as customers demand them.
Then there¡¦s CE4100¡Xthe 45nm generation single chip-SOC. Blu-ray, digital TV, and other devices. Backward compatible with CE3100.
Cisco¡¦s Malachy Moynihan stepped in to talk about how they are focused on delivering premium video, and how they have made company acquisitions (most recently Pure Digital, the makers of Flip cameras) to drive that. They are preparing for the expected upcoming transition¡Xthat 60% of video will be consumed by consumers, and that 60% of that consumption will be via IP technologies.
Screen choice by consumers is becoming hard to predict. They may watch video on their TVs, on their computer monitors, or on their mobile devices.
The Beijing Olympics were the first IP Olympics. Video shot in Beijing was sent to New York, where it was edited and then published online. So it didn¡¦t matter what major networks were showing which sport, if any. Users could get their sport of choice any time.
Cisco calls this type of network for rich media a medianet. Soon service providers will become experience providers.
¡§Don¡¦t make my TV work like a PC.¡¨ It¡¦s what Intel has been told by consumers over and over. But we do need to create rich experiences. How can we give them the richness of the Internet, while keeping it simple?
Widget was launched last year to bring one-click access to television.
Internet application development framework for television is needed. Flash has the largest developer community behind it. It blends interactivity, video, and animation. David Wadhwani from Adobe spoke about Open Screen Project, which will open up Flash, data, and media protocols and eliminate license fees. He also demoed Flash Player 10. Immersive TV experiences, built with Flash 10, will reshape the way consumers interact with their televisions.
This is about evolving the user experience, and also generating revenue.
Internet video advertising is going up from 3.2 million to 1.6 billion per year.
Analog advertising dollars become digital advertising dimes. How do networks attract an audience in the first place? There are infinite choices for the consumer. What can networks do to leverage capabilities?
The CBS widget is about to go live. The call is for us (the audience) to create great experiences that not only meet, but exceed consumer expectations.
Direct gaming experience¡XFlash games are likely to be ported and designed for TV. Intel is interested in running PC games on Linux boxes to bridge the gap for consumers who love the old games that are not compatible.
We also heard from Vikas Gupta, CEO of Transgaming. Transgaming created an engine to allow software designed for the PC to be easily portable to Linux-based machines, including Mac. Now, they are working on the C platform to very quickly port games to Flash for immersive TV experience.
Transgaming¡¦s Gametree.tv is their on-demand gaming service built to integrate with in-home architecture. They are developing an SDK and a content delivery network where developers can upload their converted or unique games. Users will be able to subscribe through ad-supported gaming experiences. Custom peripheral devices are expected to drive the experience. Consumers don¡¦t want keyboards or mice in their living room. Transgaming expects an early 2010 service launch.
The bottom line is that we have the power to create amazing experiences. The C reference platform and development kit is available now. Go. Hurry. Get it. And grab one for me.
The future of entertainment is in Moore¡¦s law now.