We are just days away from Super Bowl XLVII, which will be watched on television by more than 100 million Americans. Janet Murray, a professor in the Graduate Program of Digital Media, discusses the future of TV viewership and how we'll interact with each other during big events.
As the convergence of television and computing accelerates, we will see more opportunities for active viewing of live events. We now watch what we used to think of as television on many different kinds of digital devices: computers, phones, tablets, game console and internet-connected HDTVs. Live events like the Super Bowl and other sports contests, as well as presidential inaugurations, political debates and charity concerts, are among the characteristic television experiences. We usually like to share them with like-minded friends and relatives, our larger tribes of fellow fans or fellow political partisans.
Social media apps go part of the way toward connecting us, but the direction is toward richer presence and more active participation. Future platforms could combine all the functions of a TV with other digital functions, giving us video and voice contact with that old college roommate or politically passionate grandparent. It could also let us do the equivalent of applauding or booing together – maybe throwing animated tomatoes or setting off fireworks animations for one another. And it should let us share auxiliary content like a personally constructed highlights reel.
We've prototyped many of these applications in my lab, and we also had a model of something that will definitely be a killer app some day -- the marriage of broadcast football and fantasy football.
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