Now that's what I call interactive television

  • Tim Weber
  • 23 Jan 08, 02:02 PM

A short while ago, wandering through the bustling congress centre, I ran into Marc Benioff, the chief executive of software-as-a-service firm, a company that expect to hit a revenue target of $1bn this year.

Marc was just being interviewed by Robert Scoble, the blogger and videoblogger extraordinaire.

Robert was filming Marc not with a big video camera but a small Nokia mobile phone, that sent a live video stream of the interview to his website. So far, so ambitious. Now comes the stunner. While he was doing the interview, Robert saw live on his phone screen the comments and questions posted by his viewers.

Just to illustrate how it works: When Marc pulled me into the conversation, within half a minute Robert had live on his screen a reader's query about the BBC's video-on-demand policy. Robert asked me the question straight away, and as we continued talking about the mobile phone industry and video on the web, more BBC-related queries piled up.

Now that's what I call interactive television! Is it scaleable? Probably not. If the BBC were to do the same for an interview on say the Ten o'clock news, we'd probably be swamped by a deluge of questions.

But it clearly shows how the media landscape is changing and how quickly technology is developing. Even two months ago this would not have been possible.

Oh - there's still one drawback: The phone's battery allows for about 25 minutes of video streaming. Still, it was very impressive.

Comments   Post your comment

Rightly so - technology will change entertainment industry beyond its imagination and whole evolution process can be very painful but at the same time very exciting.

Nice that non-interactive TV is beginning to notice! And, yes, of course it's scalable, just not how you imagine it would be.

Great story, Tim. The service Mark was using is called Qik.

You're right, we'll probably have to use some sort of moderation for the Ten o'clock news :)

  • 4.
  • At 07:44 AM on 24 Jan 2008,
  • steveh wrote:

Applying the same principle to news programmes would mean that the broadcasters would have to do considerably more than just telling us what they want us to know.

  • 5.
  • At 03:12 AM on 27 Jan 2008,
  • Shakir Razak wrote:


Umm, Hello,

You do know that the BBC is a customer of forbidden Technologies who are behind The Forscene (forlive) Video Platform, and that (maybe less elegantly, but ) it's been possible for mobile journalists to do the same for somethng like 4 years.

Yours kindly,

Shakir Razak

Hi Tim,

This technology is scalable, yes. MTV announced last Thursday that its army of Street Team '08 citizen journalists will cover the youth vote like no one else on Super Tuesday, delivering the first-ever live mobile-to-web broadcasts using Flixwagon.

The media landscape is changing faster than you'd think with these technologies going into the mainstream.

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