I first heard the term “3 screens” back in 2005 while employed as a senior designer at Method, Inc. in San Francisco. It was during a kick off for one of my first big projects. Our client was Time Warner Cable. It was an amazing project: envision and design a world were everything is on demand. Everything? Yes, everything. Not just your personal media collection, but all that great web content, on demand content, and the holy grail: broadcast TV. It was a world where time was no longer linear, progressing in a predictable forward motion. You created your own time, as well as your own place for consuming content. We’ve gotten closer in the past 5 years, especially on the latter aspect of the dream. Tablets and smart phones have been on the rise, fulfilling our vision to make content portable. This has enabled us to not only time but to place shift. But when it comes to TV, everything is still up for grabs.
Since Time Warner, I’ve worked for a number of clients trying to own the living room including Sony, Samsung, Microsoft and startups around the bay area. The problem then is the problem we still face today: too much fragmentation. Corporations that own everything—from the content, to the content providers, to the infrastructure—really must learn how to play well together to create a truly seamless, end to end solution for IPTV. Unless the core incentive changes from ad revenue to the common good, we’re going to be stuck where we’re at today: lots of little boxes with less and less to consume.
Since I’ve joined Microsoft’s Mobile Studio in the spring of 2010, I’ve reignited my passion for connecting services, software experiences and devices. Imagining a world where I have access to all of my content, anywhere on any device of my choosing is becoming less far fetched everyday. I’m hoping TV can get it’s act together.
This is a great article that sums it all up, (but they forgot to mention Boxee).