Tuesday, 2 August 2011

TV & Mobile apps

This is a blog about sitting in front of the TV watching a Wesley Snipes Movie. That's what I did last night. And as per usual I got bored with the plot halfway through (happens all the time - not just on Wesley Snipes movies) and I started wondering whatever happened to Wesley Snipes. He got arrested didn't he? Is he still in jail? So I reached for the iPad and surfed to Wikipedia and started reading about Wesley's real-life (which is a mess) and not about some Vampire-killing nonsense (which was on the TV).

Ok, so actually this is a blog about a recent phenomenon in my household: multi-screening.. by which I'm absorbing consumer media information from two screens at pretty much the same time. What used to be the habit of software developers (you know the type: lots of big screens on their desk) has crept into the home. And my home is better for it. I can follow-up, on a whim, whatever my wandering mind feels like without disrupting anyone else's Tube time. 9 times out of 10 my mind is interested in exploring something related to what's happening on the TV. And that's an interesting statistic. Why? Because it means there's a relationship between my TV and my Tablet. At the moment that relationship is bridged by myself. But in the future it could be bridged by.... apps.

Look at this from another angle. Mobile tablets can resolve what I think is one of the biggest challenges the TV has yet to meet: how do you permit an individual to have a 1:1 relationship with the content on the TV while not disturbing the experience of the 1:many (meaning everyone else in the room). Answer : you build an app which knows what's playing on your TV and helps your explore related content, or share thoughts with friends, or bet on the outcome, or choose the next song, or find out how long Wesley Snipes has been put away for.

So here's a little prediction for the next 18 months: TV & apps.


  1. Hi Will - it's been a while, but I came across your blog post on LinkedIn and it's an area that's of a bit of interest (apps). Some time ago I thought of an app which probably bridges this divide - TVTweet - essentially it is as you describe but also adds in the Social angle as well. When watching a film or programme on TV you could reach for your phone or iPad and see what others are saying about that programme via an app. It would be fairly basic - TV listing guide which when you selected that particular show (each show would have some searches associated with them) would bring up what everyone was feeling or thinking about that show - you could even add in sentiment analysis to see whether they are being positive or negative towards the programme. Extend this further and you could have featured programmes which have a broader depth of searches such as characters etc. Anyway - thought i'd throw it your way as it was sort of related and Media companies tend to be looking to bridge this divide and engage the audience more.