We all know the future; they’ve shown it to us in a thousand different ways in a thousand different Sci-Fi flicks, and the basic takeaway is a simple fact: super interactive personal technology. Robots to get us juice and vacuum the house, automatic cars to take verbal orders from us and drive on their own, and many more innovative little solutions.
Those days are far away, but a step in that direction would be a TV that understands what we want to watch, something that schedules shows for us, without us reminding or prompting it. Also, a TV that presents us the advertisements that fit our individual demographic well. After all, ads pay for media, and a smart TV that knows what users want, is a smart choice for brands to advertise. This concept is not just an idea, in fact there is work being done on it as we speak, by none other than semiconductor giant Intel.
Intel’s main job is to make the processors that power the numerous gadgets around us, right from PCs, laptops and also loads of embedded systems like smart treadmills etc. This concept, of a smart interactive television, is one of the newer projects being researched at the Intel labs.
To explain what’s going on in their minds in a nutshell, the experience begins with a set-top-box, which identifies consumer presence based on wireless communication with their cell phone, smart phone, or MID. The set top box can then personalize itself to the user, displaying a personalized list of content, selected from broadcast television, prerecorded content, and streaming media. This list is tailored using information gathered from the devices that users interact with continuously throughout the day: their PC, their set-top-box, and their mobile device. Working together, these devices can understand user habits, what users are doing, what users are interested in, and how much time users have in their schedule.
This same information can be used to select advertisements that would be the most informative and interesting to consumers. That makes sense as the wants and needs of individuals these days are quite vast. The overall result is an experience that more closely matches user interests and lifestyle.
Moving on to technical data, Intel execs Jim Rattner And Eric Kim spoke at last year’s IDF, unveiling the Intel Atom processor CE4100, the newest system-on-chip (SoC) in a family of consumer electronics (CE) media processors; they also announced efforts with several key industry players including Adobe, CBS, Cisco and TransGaming which help make the vision of interactive TV a reality in the short-term.
With the massive amount of TV content delivered digitally today and in the future, personalization is critical. TV Network CBS developed a TV Widget, or small Internet application, to help viewers find and connect to premium content in a more customized manner. TV Widgets are made possible by the performance of Intel CE media processors and Widget Channel, a software development framework.