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I was recently at the IPTV forum in London and caught a talk by Adam Cahan of IntoNow (recently bought by Yahoo). They make a product that fingerprints currently playing TV shows so users can lookup & share extra information based on what they are currently watching.

He gave an interesting prespective of what new technologies imply for the user, especially in a TV context. Below is the 4 examples he gave:

TechnologyUser meaningDescription
LocationProximityUser is looking for / adding something in thier proximity.
PersonalisationAdaptiveThe user percieves a personalised product as something that adapts to them.
Social GraphInterest gapPeople look for things of interest in their social graph, people trust others who share the same interests, and the social context is almost secondary to the shared interests that people have in forming connections. Interest is more important than trust.
SearchSurface informationSearch provides leads, or surface(top-level) information, to the user which they can then choose to go into. The surface information has to lead the user into it for it to be relevant.

The last item (surface information) has implications for apps/TV. In some ways we can regard the TV experience as a search and there is a lot of surface information presented which the user might then want to explore on their second screen.

Adam also stressed the significance of the user interface, users need to get an instant payoff from the app in order to make it interesting, this is the concept of surface information at work too … the instant payoff provides the user with top-level insight into what the app does. They can then choose to go into it and learn more about what options it provides.

Here are my (rather vauge) notes from the talk: Adam Cahan – IntoNow – TV App hub – IPTV – 20/3/2012


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