Tag Archives: Mobile phone

There is No Spoon: The Future of TV

I don’t watch much TV and part of this is precipitated by the fact that I don’t currently own a TV. The TV that I do watch, however, is, for the most part, online. [Except in cases where I’m visiting someone who has TV and we’re watching something together.] Shows that I started watching years ago (when I had a TV) like Grey’s Anatomy or The Big Bang Theory often post the full episode online the next day. This is very convenient as I’m not required to be in front of my TV on a Thursday night to watch these shows.

I always find it disappointing when a show that I might be interested in does not have an online version. This got me thinking about what the future of TV might be. I remember seeing a PPT from Business Insider at the turn of the new year (to 2013) that analyzed the way people use technology. That is, it took into account mobile devices, TV, computers, etc. The trend, as you might guess, is to mobile. More and more people are using their phones for things. As a result, there’s certainly money to be made in advertising in the mobile arena.

Then I thought, why haven’t TV shows made the leap to mobile? Or, why is this leap taking so long? If more and more people are using their phone to interact with the world, then wouldn’t it behoove TV networks to start making their content more accessible on a mobile device?

As I’m moving back to Canada in the next few weeks, I’ve been looking at cell phone plans. [Note: it is outrageously more expensive for mobile plans in Canada than in the US!] One thing I noticed was that Bell (one of the telecommunications companies in Canada) has an option just like I was thinking. You can watch live TV on your cell phone. After seeing this, I thought I’d look at some of the US companies to see if they had it and sure enough, they have this, too.

As it turns out, companies have already made the leap to mobile and it’s moved faster than I thought (I guess that’s what you get when you don’t have a cell phone for 4+ years).

My next thoughts move to the internet. There must be lots of people like me who like to watch the shows online the next, otherwise they wouldn’t be available like they are. So, I wonder if there’s rumblings of moving to live TV internet. That is, instead of posting the video the next day, why not broadcast the show online at the same time you do on network TV?

I’m sure there’s probably lots of red tape with this kind of an option as advertisers have paid to target certain demographics at certain time and so on and so forth. But wouldn’t this open up a whole new market for TV networks — people who’d prefer to watch online?

I came across a Kevin Spacey speech a few days ago that talks about this very fact.

[Note: The first half of the title is a famous line from the movie, The Matrix.]

Cell Phones and Driving: Do You Value Your Life?

A couple of days ago, I happened to be in the car when NPR’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show was playing. It just so happened that it was “Tech Tuesday,” and they were talking about new findings on distracted driving. Some of the findings would probably shock most people. For instance, would you have guessed that there is no (statistically) significant difference between talking on a cell phone with bluetooth and without bluetooth? I wouldn’t have. And, in fact, part of me thinks that the study maybe wasn’t designed optimally for testing the hypothesis, but I didn’t read the journal article.

One of the more interesting parts of the conversation was when one of the callers brought up the point about having cell phones automatically “lock” themselves when the car is in motion. One of the guests pointed out that this is already out there. She mentioned that there were apps that would “lock” the phone if the car is in motion. Then, Kojo brought up the point about passengers in the car — would they still be able to use their phones in the car? At this point, the guest then explained that getting around the “locked” phone is not too difficult.

After listening to this exchange, I realized that car safety (ala cell phones) is a choice. That is, it’s a choice by the driver. It’s probably not possible to completely legislate away a person’s ability to use their cell phone while driving (meaning: it likely wouldn’t hold up in court), so then it becomes a choice for driver. Does the driver want to increase their chances of causing an accident? Because that’s what happens when a driver decides to use their cell phone while driving. They’re increasing their chances of causing (or being in) an accident. To take this down a psychological tangent, it’s possible that they don’t value their life (as much as the next person) and so they’re willing to take this kind of risk.

As I got out of the car and began walking to my destination, my thoughts floated back to the 2009 book, Nudge (I think I’ve mentioned it on here before). I was trying to think of a way that we, as a society, could help nudge people to make better choices when behind the wheel. Is there some way we could nudge drivers away from using their cell phone?