The End of 200 Channels and Nothing On

March 17 2008 / by Jeff Hilford / In association with Future
Category: Entertainment   Year: 2008   Rating: 18 Hot

The release of Hulu last week, the video on demand joint venture between NBC and Fox, signals the ongoing deconstruction of television programming as well as the continued convergence of the TV and PC. We also saw evidence of this at the Consumer Electronics Show in January through devices that enable us to watch and interact with the internet on our tvs. For me this is a ‘where is my flying car’ kind of thing. I’ve been wondering for over a decade when this convergent moment would happen. I’m not ready to proclaim it’s finally here but it feels like it’s getting awfully close.

So what are the implications of being able to ‘watch’ the internet from one’s couch. Well for one, the exodus from standard tv programming to internet content will only hasten. Video on demand and these next-gen tv sets, set-top boxes and mobile devices allow you to consume what you want, when you want and where you want. This will result in an exploding market for content and big changes on the media horizon. Here are my 9 Predictions for the effects of this convergence over the next few years:

  • TV Networks struggling to maintain market share with sub-standard, more cost-effective products (reality tv anyone?) will continue to lose market share.
  • Popular blogs will produce and distribute more original video programming, some will become ‘networks’.
  • Mainstream TV (which now includes a large number of big cable stations) will scramble to adapt programming, acquire content start-ups and reformat much of their content.

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The Future is Converging All Around Us

October 15 2008 / by juldrich / In association with Future
Category: Business & Work   Year: 2015   Rating: 9 Hot

One of the biggest and most exciting trends in technology is that of “convergence” – or how different technologies will combined with one another to create entirely new devices. These devices, in turn, will go on to change human behavior in unique and unexpected ways.

Convergence, as a trend, is nothing new. The printing press did not materialize out of thin air. First, paper, and then ink, and ultimately moveable type had to be created before Gutenberg could create his historic device. The radio, television, computer and Internet are also the result of a convergence of various technologies.

To this end, I recently came across three articles on three different technologies which, when they converge, could change everything from how we educate and entertain ourselves to how key aspects of our economy operate.

The first is virtual reality technology. This insightful article from TechCrunch discusses the new “RealityV experience” developed by Intelligence Gaming. It is part virtual reality and part video and it is now being used by the Army to help soldiers train for real-world situations – such as dealing with a hostile crowd in a foreign country.

The video below provides an excellent overview of the technology:

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Negroponte in 1984: Four Predictions (three correct, one still in development)

April 14 2008 / by Antonio Manfredi / In association with Future
Category: Business & Work   Year: General   Rating: 3 Hot

Nicholas Negroponte foreshadows the future i n this 1984 discussion on what we can expect in the coming decades. His ability to hit the mark on everything from CD-roms to products like the iPhone show that we can reasonably predict at least the next score of human years. Speaking at the first TED Conference in 1984, Negroponte waxes prophetic on the convergence of technology, entertainment and design:

Years before anyone was using the word “convergence,” Negroponte was thinking about TV screens as the “electronic books of the future” and computers as the future of education. In excerpts from his 2-hour talk (this was before TED’s 18-minute time limit), he foreshadowed web interfaces, service kiosks, the touchscreens for mobile devices like the iPhone, and his own One Laptop per Child project. Oh, and there’s also a fascinating project called Lip Service, which, well, let’s just say it’s still ahead of us …

Of the following four predictions for the next twenty years, what do you think is the most likely?

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