Posted on June 13, 2011
Today we interact with Internet media nearly as routinely we checked our wristwatches to read time-of-day fifteen years ago. While the conversion might seem radical to consumers from 1996, the advent of portable connected devices such as smartphones and tablet computers implies an even more fundamental change in the future. In short, all media shall become interactive – not just Internet media.
The underlying force is a previously latent demand from sponsors for more effective advertising. As John Wanamaker put it about a century ago “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Yet during the past decade, Google AdWords introduced a new paradigm. The service generates more than $25 billion annually by only charging sponsors for ads that are actually used by the consumer. At Google, advertising is targetable, accountable, and can be convincingly tracked. It is only a matter of time before sponsors will demand the same of all their advertising campaigns in whatever medium, whenever possible.
Significantly, app-enabled mobile devices are empowering traditional media to adapt to such a transformation because the portable units are evolving into cognitive prosthetics. Much as experienced amputees routinely use mechanical prosthetics as artificial limb extensions, habitual smartphone and tablet owners are starting to use the devices as convenient intelligence aids. They help users gain more information that would otherwise be unavailable, or difficult to obtain. For example smartphones can find price comparisons merely by scanning bar codes and other implanted signals off shelf merchandise labels. Specifically, a price-comparison app reads the barcode or embedded signal to (1) identify the merchandise and (2) display a website where up-to-date prices for the item from all merchants are complied. Read more…
Posted on June 9, 2011
This past weekend I decided to rent a movie from Amazon-Video-on-Demand. The service is available via my TiVo, which makes it easy to watch the movies on my TV-set instead of a computer. I’ve done it about a dozen times before. Except when it was a new service, the experience has been generally satisfactory.
But, not this last time.
Unfortunately my TiVo simply gave me an error message. So, like most of us, I shrugged my shoulders and repeated the selection process. TiVo threw-up on me a second time.
Frowning, I proceeded to TiVo’s troubleshooting instructions which suggested I check “Network and Settings”. After a few button-clicks, I learned that TiVo was receiving a “marginal” (35%) Wi-Fi signal from the router in my home office in the adjacent room. My current TiVo uses Wi-Fi to access the Internet to keep its program guide up-to-date and fetch movies from Amazon-Video-on-Demand. Older models typically used dial-up telephone lines which makes the Amazon service problematic. Read more…