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The Future of Television: Why You Won’t Recognize Your Television Just a Few Years from Now
Scott Puopolo, Cisco
Imagine you are watching a program on your refrigerator. You browse through the program choices using hand gestures. When you walk into the bathroom, the display of your program automatically transfers to the display inside the bathroom mirror.
Does this seem farfetched? All of these capabilities are here now and research gathered by the Cisco "Internet Business Solutions Group" (IBSG) from manufacturers, content producers, service broadcasters and academic experts identifies amazing predictions of what is going to happen in the TV industry and when these changes are likely to occur.
Analysis of the research shows that the three main influences to these events happening include technology, consumer behavior and business models. Multiple supporting technologies have emerged including displays (digital paper and projection devices), ultra-high bandwidth connections and new types of human interfaces (sensory devices). The ways consumers discover and consume media are changing including using social networks (Digg) and on demand content (YouTube), and participating in the creation of TV programs. Business models are changing from pushing a limited number of linear based channels to aggregating many content sources (NetFlix), recommending relevant programs, and adapting media for specific viewers (personalized ads on Facebook). Using this information, the IBSG has identified 10 Predictions for the future of TV.
TV Channels Go Away
100% of the experts agree with the expectation that TV channels will go away in the future. Instead of TV channels, viewers will use customized on demand media streams (personalized TV portals) which provide them with unlimited access to programs and content. This trend has already started because of the time shifted viewing through devices such as Xbox, Apple TV and
No Remote Control Required
94% of the experts agree that no remote control will be required in the future. Instead of using a TV remote that has a limited number of buttons, viewers will communicate with their viewing devices using natural language and hand gestures, and access their viewing content using adjunct devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Viewing Screens Anywhere
30% of the experts agree that TV screens will appear on many new types of devices such as home appliances, mirrors and wallpaper.
People will buy screens in the future, not television sets. Viewing devices will become thinner and larger (whole wall possible), have higher definition, provide 3D (without glasses), and even display holograms. Some screens may be expandable or even wearable. An additional 40% of the experts believe it will happen, but over a longer period of time. 17% of the experts think holograms will be commonplace by 2030.
83% of the experts agree that advertising messages will become highly personalized. Advertisers have been shifting their advertising spending to more targeted and measurable media channels (such as Internet marketing). Television advertising systems are evolving into customized advertising systems that cause consumer viewing histories and program contexts to create customized advertising messages for specific viewers. However, 40% of the experts believe this change will happen over a longer period of time.
45% of the experts believe that the TV experience will become much more immersive in the near future. People will friend their favorite TV characters, investigate plots and collaborate with other viewers. Fans will morph from following a show to interacting with and influencing the program. Key enablers for the development of immersive content include social networking systems and smartphones, as well as the ability to provide storytelling over multiple forms of media.
Virtual Group Viewing
80% of the experts agree that virtual group viewing will happen in the future. However, 43% believe it will take a longer period of time. Watching television is a social gathering mechanism. People congregate around a central viewing device or media source. In the future, people will invite family and friends to join a virtual viewing setting. Social network systems such as Facebook may be an effective platform for coordinating virtual group viewing.
Five Senses Television (Is it Real or is it TV)?
90% of the experts agree that television will provide more sensory services such as smell, taste and tactile reproduction. Viewers may be offered options to view the program from different locations or character viewpoints.
When viewers fully engage in these new senses, it may be hard to determine if the experience is real or television. 44% of the experts feel that the evolution will take longer than other advances in television technology.
Follow-Me Television (TV Roaming)
93% of the experts agree that TV programs and content will be available on any media player (device shifting) and on any network (place shifting). Program content will become instantly accessible anywhere. Users will no longer be required to utilize a specific device or network The transition to place shifting is already happing through the use of devices such as
Anyone can Produce TV
90% of the experts agree with the prediction that regular people will become content producers. More than 40% expect believe this will happen more quickly than other advances in television technology. The evolution of television will spur an explosion of amateur film and TV making. User generated content (UGC) will be produced using decentralized methods. Tools and evolving consumer media production skills offer the potential to produce high-quality content on very limited budgets.
Viral TV Production
73% of the experts agree with the prediction that program creation will become more viral. However, 45% think it may take an extended period of time for viral TV production to emerge. Viewers will be invited to become involved in the process of project creation and content production. This may rapidly evolve in the gaming industry as new consumer created content sources are immensely watchable and engaging.
Scott A. Puopolo is Vice President of the Global Service Provider of the Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG). Puopolo significant strategy, operations, and financial experience in the communications,media, and high technology industries. He sits on Cisco’s Service Provider Business Council and the Video and Connected Homeand is responsible for SP strategy for Cisco’s Mexico Board.
For more information about Cisco, go to www.cisco.com/.