Wednesday, April 14, 2021
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TV experience no longer about viewing

In a place like the UAE, digital devices can be found in almost every home and demand from consumers to operate numerous devices at once is becoming more common. At the same time as watching the TV, consumers are also surfing the web for information, purchasing goods and services online and communicating on social networks.

The need for them to be better connected to these multiple platforms is becoming ever more important and now there is a product that allows the viewer to do just that. By creating a centralised platform, we allow the viewer to enjoy a single experience, using swipe and gesture movements to bring information on and off the screen.

Controlled by the viewer through a smartphone application, the hardware provides consumers with everything they need to know, literally at their fingertips, and brands with a bigger opportunity than ever before to engage and interact with the viewer and to create emotional relationships with their customers. 

What is this new experience that I am talking about? I described it at the BPG bConnected event last month as augmented reality, combined with 3D, to create a space that the viewer can fully control, a combination of screens and space which transforms the flat screen into a wide open space, in which viewers can do several things at once.

One of the examples I used at the event was a movie. While watching a movie, viewers can use swipe-and-gesture to push the movie back into the screen and open up an empty space. Here they can bring in information from the web about the actors in the movie, the storyline, the music playlist, 3D images, social media platforms and news feeds. In one experience the viewer can manage several platforms.

And this is interesting for brands because as the viewer is watching, say a movie, they can view products worn by the actors and even purchase goods in real time.

Another example I gave to the clients and invited guests at the BPG bConnected forum was a Formula One race. Viewers can pull in information about sponsors such as Red Bull at the same time as watching the race. They can read about the drivers, be up-to-date with the leader board and bring in a 3D map of the course, all at the same time as watching the race.

The interesting behaviour here is that watching the TV is becoming secondary and almost in the background. The viewer has the choice of whether to open multiple platforms at one time or to focus purely on the movie. This new 3D media space will completely change the way consumers interact with brands, and has the potential to build stronger and closer relationships with consumers as they have easier access to information and e-commerce.

But this hardware is not limited to TV screens. Consumers rely on portable devices for information and interactions more than ever. By implementing this new experience, users increase the functionality of their devices and can leverage capabilities in areas such as business by creating a centralised platform to view documents, watch webinars and search the web.

In comparison, brands can connect and attract their target audience faster and increase their visibility by allowing for a more interactive experience regardless of where the consumer is located. This technology will give fashion brands in particular the opportunity to create virtual pop-up stores where customers will have the capability to browse and view virtual and dimensional goods from the comfort of their own homes and purchase those products all from the TV.

This new evolution of the screen to a digital, space-creating platform excites me. And we are only beginning this adventure.

— The writer is chief interaction officer at Possible London.