Thoughts on INTEL @ CES
27 JANUARY 2012
contentAI studios | Portland, OR | http://contentAI.com
True Story: Once upon a time, a major motion picture Studio had one person assigned to traveling to their global offices to see if the films in development or production had any World Wide Web needs or if there might be any cross promotion potential? The Distribution, Production and Development executives all said, “no.”
Which happened to be at a time when we were tapping into an online (remember Compuserve!) fan base for a series of novels that were being developed for a motion picture property (which we’d already licensed Electronic Game and merchandising Rights to) – The absolute hub of our activity was our Property’s URL and it’s Forums. For us, all of the pieces fit together into one large User experience to dip in and out of from various locations. The term “transmedia” hadn’t been invented. We didn’t know what we were doing, other than knowing that the Whole Enchilada was a lot cooler than the individual ingredients.
Fast Forward +/- 15 years into the Future. Today. OK, technically a couple of weeks ago at CES in Las Vegas.
The most exciting space for us was the INTEL® booth – OK, “booth” is used loosely, it was the INTEL Command Center at CES.
Featured were INTEL’s “trees” that we saw set up around the Command Center at their disconnected workstations. Typically, it was different divisions and technologies and their team members focused on their silo of interest, including:
- Ultrabooks– OK, we love them. We use them for coding and building our apps (picked up an Asus U21 the first day it shipped)
- AppUP – Desktop apps for Windows machines; with an amazing team working behind the scenes to make the process rapid and enjoyable (See: Encapsulator). What an amazing platform and reach – Whether for Enterprise or for Education – Or, for home…(more on that in a minute)
- WiDi – Huh? Wireless HDMI to bridge between the devices on your couch and your big screen
- Ultrabooks & Nuance Deal: Lost in the press releases was a remarkable partnership announcement to advance speech recognition on Ultrabooks (yes, that Nuance, the one that really does a lot of the heavy lifting for SIRI). No mention of this on the floor.
- Smart TV: Formerly the Digital Home Group, the device(s) to bridge from big screen to on-the-couch interface continue to expand. While we saw competitors such as Panasonic (Vierra) and others all migrating to the “television app store” experience, the INTEL group, when coupled with other offerings within INTEL is what creates the groundwork to cohesively extend television to handheld devices.
You see, we at contentAI studios are really “content people.” We’re storytellers. We’ve worked on motion pictures, television, internet television and interactive television…oh, and mobile experiences.
Why is INTEL® massively exciting for us?
Because the “future” we thought was 2-5 years away is already here today. If you just connect the dots. If you envision how those silos all interconnect at a content experience level. ..
Our contentAI studios platform was originally created to produce emotionally engaging, personalized interactive experiences with film and television characters on hand held devices.
It looks like this:
That’s the image that’s been in our PowerPoint® deck for about a year.
The problem is this is “disconnected multi-screen engagement.” What’s needed are cohesive experiences that bridge the User Experience between screens — where story is extended…where emotional involvement deepens…
The idea that the Audience can engage in one-to-one, personalized “conversations” (text or voice) with a character on television (Pause the linear show and engage in a one-to-one chat); where the consumer discovers new and alternate storylines…where Brands have all new interactive real estate (in someone’s hand). All possible. Now. Today. #wayCool
When we looked around at INTEL’s “trees” at CES, we saw the forest.
We feel that in order to make this truly exciting, the content that is offered needs to be more than games or fancy new, intuitive cable menus. The content needs to connect on an emotional level. After all, “television” was always a storytelling device in our homes. Tapping into that engagement level is what will both sell devices and also satisfy the new interactive audience.
And, what about the opportunities for retail solutions with these same tools? Absolutely possible.
Where does will it start?
With the question: Why doesn’t every Saturday morning cartoon allow kids to directly engage with the characters via a conversational interface?
We know the issues from the Television production side. Someone needs to slap the Unions on the upside of their head so they don’t prohibit Writers and Actors from participating in these new storytelling formats. Union contracts need to be “living” documents that can be changed year-round to adapt to emerging technologies (rather than showing up 5 years late to the party). But, that’s another blog post…for another day…
But, the “forest” is much wider and deeper than Saturday morning television – with the contentAI studios’ platform solutions alone, we see ESL schools in China using these tools to improve conversational English. We see in-store Retail “intelligence” also being delightful and intuitive. . .and more. . .because there’s always more. . .
So, now we need to figure out how to tie the pieces together as a Developer. Heck, I can’t even tell if my Ultrabook has WiDi? Or, what device I need to make it so? Or, if the Smart TV group have an App Store, or if they will be leveraging AppUP?
To navigate through the forest path at INTEL, we are fortunate to have a Senior Community Relations executive who can help steer us. That kind of one-to-one relationship between INTEL and the Development Community is remarkable – We’ve been extremely impressed with their AppUP team since early 2010 and look forward to weaving our way through more branchs of INTEL in order to realize the potential, from a content Developer’s point-of-view, of their astounding technologies.
While HTML.5, Ultrabooks, WiDi and other technologies all link to one another, it’s the human component within INTEL® that serves as the Pandoran Neural Network…it’s humans that glue it all together…fortunately, corporations have evolved in the past 15 years compared to when different motion picture divisions ignored each other (especially digital divisions; and, um, Motion Pictures studios are now paying the price for such early ignorance).
Seeing INTEL’s forest, as an outside Developer, made the trip to Vegas worth every long line, worn out pair of shoes, over-priced everything and endless package of mints that were required for the trek. For next year’s CES, seeing these devices all playing nicely together and creating all new content experiences is what we’re looking forward to and hope to be a part of.