Maybe we’ve all gone iPhone and iPad crazy. That’s what all the buzz is about right now and it’s one of the only good reasons I can think of for why more people aren’t talking about the wave of innovation that going on right now around the TV.
Wait, the TV? Did he really just say that? You bet I did. TV 2.0 is coming, and it’s going to change everything. Here’s why:
First of all, you almost certainly already have one. Almost everyone does. That’s a huge part of the disruption hurdle we’ve already crossed! The problem is that TV hasn’t changed much in the last half century, so we’re used to thinking of it the way we’ve always thought of it – a one-trick pony. The massive shift will happen (soon) when people stop thinking about it in terms of “cable”, and start thinking about it as “a really big screen hooked up to the internet”, and begin buying the (relatively) cheap add-ons that will get us all to a culture of TV 2.0.
For the people that have been watching, there’ve been some cool developments in the last 12-24 months. Devices for the TV are starting to make their way into homes and into mainstream consciousness. The concept of streaming is being popularized by companies like Netflix and devices like the moderately successful Apple TV. Similarly, we’re going to start seeing a lot more “internet on your TV” thanks to marketing for devices like GoogleTV and Boxee, as well as “app markets” for the TV similar to those of on iPads and iPhones thanks to Samsung.
All of these developments, of course, are incremental changes to the way we use our televisions, but that’s how disruption usually happens – a little bit at a time.
But then there are technologies coming our TVs that are going to feel completely foreign like telepresence. This December, Cisco aired its first commercial for a consumer telepresence product called the Umi. I’m absolutely baffled by why more people aren’t talking about it. Maybe the commercials make it seem too much like Skype so people are feeling “meh” about it. I personally think that when the TV becomes accepted as an HD-enabled face-to-face communications device, we’ll see an upheaval of the way personal services are delivered across the board. Ken Wirt, Vice President of Consumer Marketing at Cisco, had this to say in a recent video blog post, and I think he’s right on the money. In fact, it’s entirely possible that telepresence technology is going to turn your TV into the most social media tool available.
What’s your take? Do you see the TV becoming a social tool?