December 08, 2006

Today’s letters are I, P, T and V

Last week’s MediaTech2.006 concentrated big time on everything coming over IP (the Internet) and how the television versus internet battle is not going to be fought out so much as some sort of Act of Union will be created to take the best out of both worlds. After 2003’s buzz on blogs, 2004’s fascination with podcasting, 2005’s hint of video-sharing being 2006’s big thing, the conference circuit crystal ball is letting us know that IPTV is set, apparently, to become 2007’s hot property.

Last week there was much interesting talk of finding a new standard to unify digital TV and the web – it’s weeks, not months, off – and providing a different web experience on the telly for the user. I am about to enter hotelland for five days and do not relish the task of trying to access email through a television set (or looking up the TV times, for that matter). But the whole concept explained last week of the 1 foot user (on a mobile phone), the 3ft user (on a computer) and 10 ft users (on the TV) made the reasons for all this chatter clear – it’s not just for hype or for eyeballs on screens.

It’s a kind of technical convergence to allow content differentiation.

Example: If you try to look at Flickr ( on your mobile device it’s awful, but using their new mobile service ( we can actually do stuff on Flickr while on the move. It’s a 3ft experience (from our computer) converged and differentiated to the 1ft experience (on our mobiles).

Converging the 3ft experience to the 10ft experience if further physically, mentally and technologically, taking longer to get to while the mobile market takes off. It will happen technologically within the next year or so but, after discussing the place of the ‘family computer’ in the living room (and all the problems most 16 year olds have with that) is the telly going to once more become the centre of family entertainment as kids fight with dad over who’s playing the next game on the xBox while mum wants to watch the film she downloaded to the games platform and big sister wants to browse the web for the handbag she saw on Sex and the City? Oooh, the fun we could all have with IPTV.

But what Jeff Jarvis seems to have missed out yesterday in his post is the last example in this IPTV family: TV as a shop window which, with only one click, allows us to buy into the same world as those on the telly. MobuzzTV comes close to this on the web, but imagine that buying power on the real box. Think QVC but actually entertaining and useful at the same time.

Now we really could have fun with that. Edu-ideas for it anyone?


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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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