Saturday, October 29, 2011

Let's Talk TV: How The Post-PC Era Enables Mac/PC To Dominate The Post-TV Era

I read an article in InfoWorld about the evolutionary paths of Apple's iOS and OS X operating systems. The more I thought about it, the more I became convinced that the next evolution of these operating systems is also an incredible opportunity for a parallel paradigm shift -- from a newly emerging Post-PC to a Post-TV era. Here's why.

In my opinion, there are many different options open to Apple, in what strategy to follow. That also means several options for the technology industry in general to contemplate, rather than wait for Apple's moves and then trying to play catch up.

It would make perfect sense to see these "two" Apple operating systems (both with similar underpinnings) follow the typical development path -- of launching bare essential features, adding features, improving usability, improving performance, and then bringing in new features to start the cycle over again.

In this next decade, all this will be happening in an area not just of convergence in the technology arena (from cloud computing for consumers and converged infrastructure data centers for corporations), but also the form and factor areas of consumer & technology products; the convergence of entertainment & communications; and melding of the time we spend living, working & playing.

Steve Jobs while presenting the iPad in San Fr...Image via Wikipedia
We had laptops/desktops, and we had smartphones/iPhones. Then came the late Steve Jobs' iPad. Even as a Mac and Apple fan from it's launch as a company, a platform, and a way of life, I was not certain how big a market iPad would find. It went on to create a whole new market category.

More people increasingly expect to be able to do everything they can do on a laptop now on their iPad and even iPhone in many cases. And the reverse of that is an increasing expectation too. People want user interface, display quality, and app features from the mobile platform to be fit where appropriate on the desktop/laptop, the PC that is.

We can easily imagine retina quality laptop displays (requiring higher resolution handing in the computer OS), touch interfaces, etc. making their way into laptops and desktops.

By the very nature of us living in an increasingly mobile world, the lower price point for cell phones versus laptops, the greater convenience of tablets than carrying laptops, etc. we can obviously continue the market share of handheld mobile devices to grow over even increasingly 'mobile' wireless connected laptops.

But, much that I agree with Steve Jobs' contention that we live in a Post-PC age, it does not, at least in my opinion, mean the end of the PC. Instead, it is my contention that there is a huge opportunity for laptop (and desktop) makers to avoid becoming the platform that dies out and instead to make it the coming second age of the PC.

At the very least they can build in 3D, much more powerful iterations of Siri-like (voice recognition and context driven intelligent assistant) logic on board, rather than requiring an internet connection as the iPhone 4S version requires. These are just some of the features they can add, but they also have a huge opportunity to pull a side-slide instead of being left behind in a paradigm shift.

Everyone agrees that the TV industry is ripe for massive change - one that even Apple and Steve Jobs failed to truly deliver on with AppleTV.

Image representing Apple TV as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBaseWith the visionary, one-man-industryial-revoltion-creator, Steve Jobs, gone, Apple has a chance to deliver on this vision. At the same time, competitors, from Sony to Samsung, Mitsubishi to Microsoft, Goldstar to Google, all have an opportunity to remake an industry and remake themselves. As a bonus, they could prove Steve Jobs wrong on his Post-PC contention.

Let mobile devices with cloud connectivity increasingly make Personal Computers less important for "Computing". Instead, make PCs drive the TV experience that industry and society are ready for, even though they don't know it.

Here is just one small bit of how I see this near-term future... [Long 'Vision' Sentence Alert].

The ability to have the same device intelligently streaming exactly the programs we want to see on our big screen, the ads we are less likely to scream at, an ability to click a micropayment to skip a commercial at a particular cliffhanger moment, an ability to click our Likes or + on shows, specific scenes, even product placements, or characters, all while working on a video our 1080p iPhone or smartphone recorded that day, being edited in iMovie, automatically shared in the cloud, and onto new services that enable friends and fans to show appreciation (or make micro-payments) for our masterpieces, with built-in mechanisms for leading channels to track popularity of our creations on the fly in dynamic new content marketplaces, and bidding on them in real time, so they get added to their programming catalogs and we get paid... all while watching House on any TV in the house.

Welcome to the Post-TV PC/Mac. It is time for your company and you to think of Mobile representing the Post-PC world -- with a parallel universe emerging, where the [PC/Mac/Your Product] is the hub of the Post-TV era.

Tech, television and electronics company leaders... Do touch that dial. Let's change the channel(s).

What do you think? Have your people call my people. Let's Talk TV.

© 2011 Imran Anwar

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