Do You Want TV To Be More Social?

from the it's-not-interactive...-it's-social... dept

Experiments in interactive TV haven't done all that well. There are some exceptions, though, it may depend on how you define "interactive." Shows that let people vote on stuff seem to do well, and some people may even consider TiVo-like DVRs as somewhat "interactive." However, for the most part, TV is considered a broadcast system, where people are expected to sit back and watch, while the internet is an interactive system, where people are more likely to lean forward and take part. The folks at PARC (MO: invent the future, let it collect dust, while someone else capitalizes on it) are apparently working on something that might be considered a middle ground: social television. The idea is that people often watch TV in social settings -- with others, rather than alone. However, you have friends elsewhere who are watching the same program and maybe you want to watch it together virtually. There certainly are people who will watch TV shows while being on the phone with someone else watching the same show -- or the more modern variant of using instant messaging. The idea here is to take that even further, and set up a television area where groups in different locations can easily be social while watching the same show. The thing that they had the most trouble with, though, was the lack of body language. When someone turns to face the TV it means they want to watch it and stop talking -- but that's missed in the separation. You have to assume those working on this are taking into account the rise of DVRs. It seems like this becomes trickier when people can schedule their own TV viewing. When everyone watched live TV there was nothing to sync up. Either way, this seems like a slightly more creative approach than typical interactive TV offerings, in that it recognizes that many people view watching TV as a social experience.


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  1.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Mar 23rd, 2005 @ 3:04am

    How about surveillance cameras as reality TV?

    There are lots of people lounging around at home watching TV, unmotivated to get normal jobs. What if you let them work from home, watching real-time surveillance videos? Reward them when they find something wrong.

    I went to the gas station just now, and while the pump was filling the tank, I went inside to buy coffee. When I came back out, the pump had failed to stop, and the gas station had turned into an ocean of gasoline. Got charged $32 on my credit card. The gas station wasn't willing to reimburse. What if there had been a surveillance camera with people watching, to alert the station?

     

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  2.  
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    BoredAtHome, Mar 23rd, 2005 @ 9:26am

    Re: How about surveillance cameras as reality TV?

    I think watching gas stations for pay would be even more boring than working behind the counter watching the gas stations...

    What you really need for this situation is a sensor on the ground that detects gas being spilled.

    Up here in Canada many gas stations are removing the "fill while you do something else" switch from the pump handles, so you have to stand there, crouched over, IN -40 degree weather!!!

    They really do this to encourage peopel to use full service which is a couple pennies per litre more expensive.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    seth, Mar 23rd, 2005 @ 10:09am

    Re: How about surveillance cameras as reality TV?

    Canadians don't know the "put-the-gas-cap-in-the-handle-so-it-keeps-pumping-when you-walk-away" trick?

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    datat64, Mar 24th, 2005 @ 3:04am

    Sports events

    Sports events are typically still watched live. And I know I for one like to interact with others while watching a game. Whether this is at a bar, or on an IRC channel somewhere

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    knight37, Mar 24th, 2005 @ 11:03am

    Re: How about surveillance cameras as reality TV?

    BoredAtHOme: They really do this to encourage peopel to use full service which is a couple pennies per litre more expensive.

    Wow you guys still have full-service stations? That would be sweet. I could drive my plush gas guzzlin' SUV up and pay someone else to pump my gas for me. Probably an illegal immigrant. I could spend the time browsing pr0n on my Treo.

     

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