A new user interface for the video viewing experience is inevitable. Consumers are confronted with a rapidly expanding universe of video programming choices, from over-the-air broadcasts to hundreds of channels available from cable and satellite services to thousands of video-on-demand choices. Add to this the hundreds of thousands of choices available at any time from online video streaming services and the consumer faces what is effectively an infinite number of options.
We need more than a printed TV guide and a five-button remote to efficiently and effectively navigate this abundant new universe of programming. Fortunately, the same technology that has made it possible to create so many offerings can also provide the intelligence to help us find what we want to watch.
At this point, it’s not clear which of the emerging approaches will ultimately win, but the end result is the entertainment equivalent to a computer operating system, so the possible rewards are enormous. The interface has the potential to be even more important than the content or its distribution, which will make the owner of the interface the one who controls access to the programming.
In order to be successful, the user interface must address six essential functions: search, browse, recommend, retrieve, access control and social sharing.
There must also be a way to interact with the interface, whether through a physical device with buttons, a touchscreen or a noncontact system based on gesture or voice commands.
Some companies have created the initial iterations of a solution. The successful approach will likely take either the cooperation or the combination of companies to assemble the assets, resources and alliances required to create an effective system that is supported by all the stakeholders in the system.