The IBC fair in Amsterdam drives a lot of smart minds together. A lot of market research firms are present to discuss market trends and evolution.
This year a debate (“Hot or not: What are the hottest new TV technologies and devices and how will they transform the TV market?“) was specifically dedicated to technological trends that are likely to change the customer experience. Voice recognition was voted the most underrated technology and VT the most overrated one (to say the least I was absolutely amazed to see the crowd waiting to enter the sessions on VR).
Here are the technologies discussed
VR / AR (Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality)
speakers agreed on the key question of affordability. Orpheus Warr (CTO, Channel 4) didn’t believe in the potential of VR to reach a mass market.
Adrian Drury of Liberty global made the point of the big differences existing between AR and VR. While AR is already massive trend, massively adopted, VR is still a niche market. VR remains a very solitary, isolationist experience. For the TV mainstream market, participants agreed that Virtual Reality is unlikely to be used massively. For the gaming market however VR presents serious advantages. As far as the sport broadcasting market is concerned participants couldn’t really predict whether or not VR would become a significant trend.
Orpheus Warr spoke of a tipping point for voice UI. He stressed this was a transformational experience because voice recognition is so pervasive. It’s built in in your smartphone, you’ll use it at home and soon it will become a habit for millions of users, enabling thus it’s extension to the TV world.
Warr’s analysis is especially interesting because he not so much focused on the technology itself but rather on the habits supported by that technology. The habits are really what forge mass adoption.
IOT and smart home tech
Internet of Things (IoT) is seen mainly as a medium to collect data (sometimes in an invasive way). Rather it should be see as a technology driving behaviors and enabling change. It’s not so much about the data you can collect, rather about the behaviors you can change.
AI, ML, automation
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is to broadcasting what electrification was for the industry. It didn’t happen overnight but will transform businesses on the long term.
Speaking of recommendation engines (that are now everywhere on broadcasters’ websites), Orpheus Warr stressed the importance of metadata to get insights into the content. Algorithmic recommendations can only be as good as the metadata of the content to be recommended.