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What is TV? What will TV become? The Gartner Hype Curve in relation to TV connectivity

The second Wired Sussex ConnectedTV Brighton event took place during Brighton Digital Festival.

Jonathan Vernon, My Mind Bursts, shares his account of the event....

What is 'connected' TV?

Jen Topping spoke of connections to a plethora of devices through TV and to the Internet.  Stuff changes.  Jen spoke of the creative opportunity, of how people work and come together - not just 4OD, but how it changes the way producers, directors and web designers conceive TV.  She is looking for people to come up with programmes that work from the start across all the opportunities.

Richard Griffiths, Principal Lecturer in Computing,  University of Brighton, gave an insightful talk on innovation in relation to interactivity at ConnectedTV as part of Brighton Digital Festival through Wired Sussex.  Jen Topping from Channel 4 Online introduced the speakers.

The internet changes the device, as happened to phones, so will happen to TV.

Richard introduced the Gartner Curve of Hype to talk about what was going on here in Brighton in 2001, placing web agency Victoria Real at the top of this hype curve.

At this time along with some more conventional web work, I was pitching interactive support for linear TV documentary ideas at TV markets in Las Vegas, Cannes and London.  We too were at the top of the hype curve because we had commissioners who wanted to hear - however, understandably, they wanted to know how it would make money.  Anthony Geffen of Atlantic Production opened the doors - commissioners knew the content would be awesome, but how would the interactive component pay for itself?  At the time many listened to how a BAFTA any EMMY award-winning production company would partner with an agency - we were at the top of the hype curve and sliding rapidly down the other side.

This is how we might populate such a curve with developments in IT.

Hype cycle of emerging technologies.

In the next slide Richard as scribbled out the Plateau of Productivity and redrawn the Slope of Enlightenment lower down - this is where our second presentation came in.  

Is the answer to put a digital person into a TV company, to get that head space - hard enough to make great TV, even harder to do the two together.

The answer lies in the personality of the protagonists and their relative power in terms of ownership and successes to date (even if these successes are in a different field).  How do you get people to work collaboratively from quite different fields?  I have found working collaboratively using a wiki enlightening - a team of eight, from client and producer, through to programmers, designers via learning designers.  It facilitates assembly and contributing in a what is a largely chronological, though if we were to think of this as a production line in car manufacture, in e-learning or in this case building interactive content, we need a production circle, or ascending series of loops.  

Richard continued:

What was TV?

  • Seeing stuff in places where you are not or that doesn't exist
  • The electronic hearth
  • Shared national experience
  • An economic phenomenon

What is TV?

  • Transition from an economy of scarcity to an economy of abundance.
  • It will stop being a district technological, social and economic identity.

What will become of TV?

  • Hold on
  • Co-opt the competition
  • Adult and betting - again
  • Attempts by rights-holders to control

Eternal verities

  • Technology changes - people don't.
  • Richard made a quip about a visit to Pompei where he saw an advertising slogan above a shop along the lines of 'Zeus buys my fruit!'

A technical industry

The key is that it is an industry - it's commercial so understand how the bills are paid.

Is this the reality? Start-ups eagerly clinging to their big idea and struggling against the odds and sense, without financing, to make things happen?

You can see Richard's full presentation, Employability for Connected TV here.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter at @jj27vv


Do check out the presentations from our other speakers:

You can check out the photographs that our photographer Jan Kuhr took on our Facebook page.

Feel free to join in the conversation in our LinkedIn discussion or on Twitter at #CTVBrighton.

We're really excited to be running a programme of quarterly ConnectedTV Brighton events over the next 12 months with the support of Relentless Software.  

If you have any questions about any of the events, please contact Laura.

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