TV apps, widgets and two-screen solutions: Augmenting TV experiencies

Originally published on the Agora Media Group blog

We write extensively on Augmented Reality and Social TV on and the Agora Media Group blog, being emerging and disruptive technologies (and also altered "behavior") that have a bright future according to MIT and Gartner, to name a few.

Q: Where do these two mutually intersect?
A: On the level of two-screen solutions and applications/widgets.

Wikipedia says on two-screen solutions:

"Two-screen", or "synchronous solutions", are a form of interactive TV that enables information about a TV show to be accessed via the internet on a mobile phone, laptop or desktop PC. Unlike one-screen interactive TV solutions, where all of the interactivity is on the television, two-screen applications are typically done from a computer, and are free to the user. In these cases, users are not changing the content on the television, they are accessing supplementary information about the show. The difference between two-screens and normal web pages are the two-screens are relevant to the live programming, refreshed in real-time, and often provide social networking around live broadcasts.

Augmenting the TV experience in a one-screen solution is happening, sure, think of teletext or subtitles for instance.
But the augmentation is up to a certain level, due to the content and focus it has on that certain time.

Two-screen solutions on the other hand enable augmentating of the TV experience to a new level, where it comes into its own.
These kind of solutions are great for multitaskers and the information hungry society we live in.
Social complementary solutions which will connect you with friends and recommendations on the second screen, whilst consuming the core content via TV.
One can ask him-/herself if the TV content is primary or simply the reason for social activity.

The other intersection is with regard to the emerging TV applications and widgets which will enhance the core content on one screen.
there's a learning curve though, simply cluttering the screen with additional information/widgets doesn't work according to researcher Marie-José Montpetit at MIT’s Research Lab for Electronics on NewTeeVee.

Though the potential is present, a smart and enhanced usage and application of widgets is needed, to create and validate relevant and quality augmentation.
Almost anything can be an augmentation of the reality or experience, but as explained in Augmented Reality Semantics it has to be contextually qualitative and easy to use. Technologies are one thing, but if it's not simple and powerful enough, users won't adopt due to the high perceived risks.

On, we created the poll " Two Screen or One Screen? What is the Future of Social TV?".

Do let us know what you think is the future of Social TV.


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