Monday, June 23, 2008

Ubiquity

A new report from Forrester claims that video is set to take over the world, envisaging consumers being confronted with “a dozen video platforms per day.”. It made me think back to the days in 2003 and 2004 when we were building Narrowstep - it was quite a leap of faith back then that people wanted to consume more video on more devices and that the box in the corner would mutate into hundreds of forms.

Some of the scenarios drawn in the report include (with my comments in parentheses):

waking up to a video alarm clock (yep, at most hotels I set the alarm on the TV);
checking satellite weather videos on your mobile phone (already available if you have a decent connection from sites like weather.com and bbc.co.uk);
watching traffic videos on your GPS unit while driving in to work (again, TV/GPS combos have been available for some time, although using it like this may cause the traffic delays rather than monitor them);
watching an ad for a Ford Edge on Gas TV while fueling up at a gas station (Forecourt TV went bust some time ago, but it's clearly been done);
streaming MSNBC stock reports from your desktop at work (er, yes..);
seeing a short address from your CEO in a meeting-room photo frame (now that's getting scary...);
watching a promo for American Gladiators in the back of a video-enabled taxi on the way to the airport (already done in London black cabs);
hearing Glenn Beck’s take on the elections while waiting at the airport gate (Glenn who.. airports are full of video screens, but largely beaming CNN..);
watching a clip from your daughter’s middle-school debut in Guys and Dolls that your spouse emailed as you board the plane (er, yep, I have video on my phone and 3G as well.. and mobiles can now be used on some planes);
indulging in American Idol on the satellite TV on your JetBlue flight (CSI, please..);
checking in at your hotel through a video kiosk (done); and finally
catching Iron Man in HD on the hotel room’s flat-screen TV (but, of course).

You could add the Jumbotrons in Times Square, the diagonal TV screens on the London Underground, the man I saw the other week watching porn videos on his phone on a train and the information screen in lifts in New York and elsewhere.

The question is, why would you pay Forrester to tell you what you already know ?

What interests me more is what the owners of these screens are doing to make sure that what is shown of them is of relevance to the viewer (passive or otherwise).

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