The Blurring Lines of Channel Convergence
4. The appification of the television: Apple, Sony, Samsung, Google, Roku. Last year marked the beginning of the “appification” of television. Selected via a variety of app stores and installed on an internet protocol TV, enhanced set-top boxes, tablets and other mobile devices, they bring new forms of interaction to the traditional TV viewing experience and will eventually directly influence TV content.
5. Buy it now: distributed commerce platforms. While 2009 brought few initial experiments in distributed commerce, 2010 delivered full-featured distributed commerce platforms that made it easier for brands to create connected commerce experiences on social networks, mobile, tablets, etc. These platforms will get even more powerful and customized via more robust open graph integration in 2011. Commerce distribution will become the new norm as consumers will be able to shop from all touchpoints (including physical products, signage, etc.).
6. The internet of things: Vail EpicMix. A technology introduced by a Colorado ski resort, Vail EpicMix relies on RFID chips embedded in lift tickets to track its guests on-mountain activities and merge aspects of social networking, location-based services and gamification into the loyalty program of the future.
7. Recognition technologies: IntoNow. In 2010, QR codes, tags and image recognition technology were hot. This year there's IntoNow, an app that recognizes live TV broadcast audio and can use that info to connect you with others watching the same show. Developers are just scratching the surface, but this technology is a very interesting way to make TV shows — and maybe more importantly, commercials — interactive. It’s a way to connect the mobile or tablet experience to what's happening on live or recorded TV.
8. Your reality will be augmented: Word Lens. Many of the augmented reality experiences we've seen over the last couple years have been interesting. But frankly, most have limited utility. Word Lens is a real-time translation app that starts to show the power of mobile devices as digital looking glasses. Imagine the ability to digitally augment or enhance the physical world around you in real time to deliver custom experiences based on your preferences or needs.