The ABC is set to trial new technology which integrates Twitter and Facebook integration with on-screen viewing.
The Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation has developed technology that allows tweets to appear on screen in conjunction with viewing, separate from the curated Tweets that appear on Q & A.
“We have basically live tweets over shows, so if you’re watching an episode of any program and someone tweets about it then you’ll be able to see that tweet on the screen live – if that’s what you want – on top of the video,” said Sebastien, social TV project leader at National ICT Australia (NICTA).
NICTA is demonstrating the technology today at its Techfest 2012 in Sydney ahead of trials due to kick off in June.
“It’s about allowing people to engage a little more than they have been able to in the past with what they’re watching,” said ABC’s manager of new media services, Chris Winter.
“One of the great prompters of conversation is what you’re watching on the telly. In the past we sit in the lounge room and talk to the person sitting next to us, in the future it will become easier and easier to engage with people who are not in the same room.”
In addition, the technology is also able to recommend shows based on previous behaviour and on what the viewer’s Facebook friends are watching.
Viewers multitasking with multiple screens is definitely on the rise, but screen-clutter is also an issue. Striking the right balance and allowing viewers to turn these features on and off will be crucial.
A Nielsen Australian Online Consumer Reporter released in 2011 found that, of 5886 people polled, 60 per cent of Australians watched TV simultaneously while using the internet. US researchers have separately found that commenting on US shows via Twitter increased 362 per cent during 2011.
A second set of trials, in January, would use a special set-top box NICTA was developing.
NICTA will potentially seek to partner with TV makers such as Samsung and Sony to have the technology built into the TV set itself.
Source / photo: The Age