Friday, October 26, 2012

SmartGlass: A Big Step toward Convergence of TV and the Web Across Screens

Microsoft Xbox SmartGlass is CoTV 1.0 (maybe) -- on to CoTV 2.0!

With the release of Xbox SmartGlass, I am gratified to see many of the concepts I described as "Coactive TV" in 2002 finally being realized. I had been seeing increasing progress in recent years, as noted in my January post, but those have been very fragmented, partial steps, and I was being optimistic to refer to it then as CoTV 1.0. SmartGlass might be considered a major complementary step toward what (when integrated with those other pieces) will become representative of what I had in mind as CoTV 1.0.

The basic concept of CoTV is that we have multiple screens and input devices, and multiple content sources that have a Web of interconnections.  What we really want (even if most do not realize it yet) is to use the right combination of screens and input devices, at the right time, in the right way -- to work with whatever content we want at a given time. What connects them is the cloud, and our devices should use the cloud to support our media use seamlessly, not constrain it.

As noted in that January post, and more fully in my January "CoTV Now" summary, we are getting there, but there is still much more to come -- what might be looked to as CoTV 2.0 and beyond.  Now we seem to be at a significant milestone.  That makes this a good time to review where we are now, and to look to what will follow.  Based on the announcement materials, it seems as follows.

Now/emerging (CoTV 1.0):

  • Numerous  iPad, iPhone, Android (and soon Surface) companion apps
  • Social TV
  • Producer and third party enhancements on the second screen
  • AirPlay (and Miracast) screen-shifting 
  • and now a much richer any-screen experience with SmartGlass that includes rich remote control and enhancements, and steps toward full multi-screen hypermedia browsing.

Still to come (CoTV 2.0):


  • Selectable, Alternative "Enhancement Channels" 
  • Screen targeting 
  • Flexible session-shifting
  • Link-and-pause (and sync bookmarks)
  • Full multi-screen hypermedia browsing  
  • TV Context parameter/API
  • Full Coactive Internet commerce and advertising
  • Third-party linking rights/fees
Some links expanding on this are listed below.

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I want my CoTV!  ...SmartGlass promises to be a reasonable start!

(Apple, your move. AirPlay was nice, but SmartGlass goes much farther.  Google?  Others?)

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On SmartGlass:


A very nice video overview:
Xbox SmartGlass and Internet Explorer for Xbox - E3 2012 HD

Some descriptions:
Introducing the New Entertainment Experience from Xbox
Xbox SmartGlass goes beyond the second screen
Introducing Xbox SmartGlass

More video:
E3 2012: Xbox Media Briefing Smartglass Highlights
E3 2012: Xbox SmartGlass
Xbox SmartGlass Walkthrough

On CoTV:

CoTV Now



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