Results for April 2012
  • Five Things We Can't Wait to See

    Remotes will always suck

    Despite the fact that both voice- and gesture-controlled TV sets were on display at this year’s CES, our relationship with remote control of our screens just isn’t going to change. When you can change the channel with a wag of your finger, what happens when your dog walks by and wags its tail? Thought control (see “Five Things We Can’t Wait to See” sidebar) could change that, but don’t count on it. While the days of digging in the couch cushions for the remote will soon be behind us, look for a whole new range ...

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  • The Future of Screens

    Screenless Displays

    While proper 3-D holograms (“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope!”) are still a long way off, the first screenless 2-D displays do exist today — if you can swallow the $50,000 price point charged by companies like IO2 Technology. For the consumer market, screenless displays — projectors that cast images into thin air rather than needing a surface to project on — have yet to make an appearance. Imagine setting your smartphone on a table at Starbucks and seeing your computer desktop pop up in the air (as you type on a virtual keyboard that’s ...

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  • Shattering the Screen

    On April 23, 1896, at Koster and Bial’s Music Hall on West 34th Street in Manhattan, an enthusiastic audience witnessed an event that marked the beginning of a long evolution — one that is only picking up speed today, and with surprising ramifications. Unusually for Koster’s, the stage was occupied that evening not by any performers, but by a blank white screen measuring 20 feet by 12 feet, paired with a small booth covered with blue velvet that stood in the middle of the balcony.

    While the ...

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  • The TV Report Card
    Between on-demand viewing, proliferating screens and ever-fragmenting audiences, we're aware of just how frequently TV gets dissed as a dinosaur medium from a different age. Of course, that's true enough. But it's also true that 290 million of us spend billions of minutes each month sitting in front of that TVasaurus, and this time of year, our eyes get misty. Yes, it's spring, which means that in the weeks and months ahead, TV programmers will pull back the curtain, giving us a peek at what's to come. In these heady days of anticipation, we get to imagine unexpected wonders.
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  • Guest Edited Section: Intro

    When MEDIA magazine asked us to guest-edit the annual look at screens, we wanted to write about many things: Social TV, for example, and the unexpected ways people are using new technology to change when, where and how they watch TV and videos. We wanted to cover some of the unbelievably cool things already on the market (clear TV screens!) and what’s right around the corner, like screens projected onto contact lenses. We wanted to talk about breakthroughs in augmented reality.

    But what we really dreamed would happen is that creative — not just ad agency creative types ...

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  • Four Myths of Video Advertising Convergence
    More than one industry prognosticator has declared 2012 the "Year of Convergence." And in many ways, I agree. We do seem to be at the tipping point of consumer adoption - with over 91 million smartphone users and roughly 10 percent of all households with access to connected televisions or devices. Audiences are clearly ready and willing to view wherever and whenever it's most convenient. Manufacturers, as witnessed at this year's CES, are ready to roll with connected, high-quality devices, many of which were only beta dreams at last year's show. But the entire media ecosystem must get on-board in ...
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  • Augmented Reality Comes to Mobile
    Mobile augmented reality. You've undoubtedly heard the hype by now. You've probably even taken one of the numerous marketing applications for a spin and idly tweeted or Facebooked the results, immediately pushing to the entirety of your social network a photo of a prominent celebrity or cartoon character's face superimposed over your own. Or a photo of you standing next to a 3-D model. Maybe a screenshot of a 3-D model you "discovered" or "unlocked" with the camera of your smartphone. This sort of experience is both a blessing and a curse to the industry. Though often entertaining, the "wow" ...
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  • Self-Screening
    "Go right." Sean Connery's brogue sounded in my brain as a red line appeared on top of the horde of pressing flesh all vying for the same staircase. As I turned my head, the line flashed green when my best virtual path appeared before me. IBM's CPRS (Consumer Pattern Recognition Simulator) lets you set the voice that navigated your actions through a virtual commuter game. (Connery's voice had been chosen for me because I was a fanboy.) The app worked for any major New York transportation hub and was the latest in IBM's Smarter Cities offerings. It utilized image-recognition-based augmented ...
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  • Social TV
    The year is 1964. There are three channels on television. The average household has one or two telephones, none of which are push button. The "mini computer" won't be invented for another year and will sell for $18,000 with no practical consumer use. On a particular Sunday night in February that year, 73 million Americans tuned in to The Ed Sullivan Show to see The Beatles perform. Families and friends gathered around their televisions to take in the controversial performance and share their reactions. The experience reverberated beyond the living room, spilling out into everyday life, mostly through analog and ...
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  • What to Expect in News

    When it comes to television news, you couldn’t ask for a richer year than 2011. Between the Arab Spring, Japanese earthquake, Libyan revolution, killing of Osama bin Laden and worldwide Occupy movement, it was a bonanza of gripping, dramatic, highly visual events. (While nothing to look at, the sputtering economy and GOP debates kept the pipeline flowing, too.)

    You’ve got to hand it to the major news outlets. Considering how depleted their financial and staffing resources are, they managed to cover an amazing amount of foreign ...

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