“The public would not see these technologies for several more years,” said Redford. “The PARC experience changed my life -- it reinforced in me the notion that ANYTHING is possible. It also got me hooked on electronic media.”
From there, Redford got his hands into micro-processing, sound cards, flash and developing the first steps of touch technology. Eventually he started his own company, ILOOK, which is focused on changing the face of traditional cable television.
I sat down with Peter and asked him the following questions (with answers slightly abbreviated).
CW: Tell me about your company and your role in it.
PR: I am the CEO of ILOOK Corporation, located in San Jose, Calif. ILOOKis a cloud-powered OTT television platform, modeled after traditional cable, that instantly converts YouTube channels into branded mobile "channel apps," enabling… video plays on mobile or connected TV; zero-cost broadcasting; e-commerce-enabled commercials; and a user-customizable, “touch & view” program guide on the user’s mobile device….
CW: How would a specific channel break through the clutter?
PR: To discover Channel Apps of interest, a TV viewer typically performs a simple keyword search. Channel Apps in the search result can be listed according to different sort orders, such as most popular or newest on top. Although there may be millions of available Channel Apps, the viewer only downloads a small handful that will be watched repeatedly….
CW: Wouldn’t this fragment the network market and create tiny networks?
PR: Yes, there will be thousands, or even millions, of affinity
networks. The U.S. print magazine industry has 18,000 magazines that represent 265 interests (affinities). The lower barrier to entry when creating a TV network on ILOOK compared to printing a
magazine will make it cost-effective to cover even narrower areas of interest via a huge number of special interest networks.
CW: Where do you see the media landscape in the next three to five years? Give me some predictions.
PR: Let’s see:
1. The Internet will become the preferred “pipe” for TV providers, replacing cable/satellite/telco pipes. This will be mostly because of the Internet's lower cost compared to proprietary cable/sat/telco networks, and because it will enable new services such as e-commerce enabled commercials.
2. All TV commercials will become e-commerce-enabled. For example, a TV commercial playing on a TV screen will trigger the display of a Buy Now button on the viewer’s mobile device. This will have profound implications on the effectiveness of advertising by reducing the “impulse-to-purchase” time to zero.
3. The 2nd screen (mobile device) will become a de-facto, “touch & view" electronic program guide (EPG). Video will play on the 1st screen (TV) or on the 2nd screen (mobile) but the EPG will always be displayed only on the 2nd screen. This will ensure a consistent UI, independent of which screen the video is playing on, and will make it simple to switch screens. All TV “brains” will be in the mobile device. The TV will be just a dumb display device.
4. Media players such as Roku, AppleTV and Amazon Fire will disappear, to be replaced by “thin clients” like Chromecast that will be embedded in dongles like the current Chromecast and directly in TVs. The media player approach is a dead-end because it does not allow touch & view (a dedicated remote must be used), does not allow screen switching (because the “brain” is in the box that is physically connected to a TV) and is more expensive (since it the mobile device to store the channel apps and to display the program guide.