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Immersive Technology

by Richard Arsenault

Excited over 4K resolution, 3-D, curved screens, OHMD? The real forward-thinking is immersive content and a new world of TV. 
Much of the technology (but not the infrastructure) described already exists, so it's just a matter of "new-thinking" to bring it to a TV near you.

Imagine when TV will watch you watching it!


In the near future of technology, everything around you will be smart and dynamic.

  • Your thermostat will know when you've arrived, where you are, even what your heating, oxygen-level, and humidity preferences are.

  • Your food pantry will have an active inventory you carry with you to the store, and the best shopping choices will be suggested as you go.

  • Your car will know who's driving (without you telling it) and adjust its responsiveness based on your driving history, preferences, and route choices.

  • Smart menus at restaurants will know who is looking at them with face recognition and adjust contents accordingly.

But the real dynamic change in the near future will be in my world -- television content and delivery. Here is an overview.

Monitored Viewing

  • Viewers are monitored for “reverse viewing”

Your media center will "look" (with discrete cameras) to see:

  • Who is watching

  • What your activities are

  • What your expressions are

So, if the children enter the room, the TV will stop using swear words in the movie, for instance, and alter the same content to rated G.
If you are having a conversation, the TV will mute the volume, or even create a segment with no dialogue until you are available again. If you leave the room, the TV may pick up when you return so you don't miss that important climax scene. When the phone rings, it knows and wont play an obnoxious commercial at top volume. The future of television (and technology) is all about mutual benefit and life-value-added.
If you like cat jokes and laugh, the TV will dynamically play more cat jokes from a stand up comedian. If you don't like medical examiners cutting up a body, the TV will cut it short, or skip it. You become a truly "live" audience, and get the content you actually want, not the content that grosses you out, bores you, or offends and makes you change the channel.


But wait, there's more!

Near-infrared (NIR) sensing of oxy-hemoglobin concentrations in a viewer's brain as they watch media will be the future of real media feedback!

A NIR sensor can detect changes in physiology in response to both cognitive demands and physical conditions. A custom NIR sensor was created for in-helmet monitoring of oxy-hemoglobin in flight. This wearable, wireless sensor examines the raw optical signal and oxy-hemoglobin response and arguably could be designed to determine a viewer's mood, responses to media input, and even create a dynamic feedback response to media in real-time.

Ultimately, these sensors will be mounted remotely, discontinuing the use of a helmet.
Without going into all the details, we can now read general cognitive, and some pre-cognitive thoughts and states-of-mind by examining the blood flow in your brain remotely! Even if you don't show an expression, we can tell if content is stimulating you or making you bored. Arousing you or turning you off. And ... we can adjust content accordingly -- dynamically.

Yes, you read correctly. We're not just talkin' program choices, we're talkin' dynamic content that changes as you watch it!

Non-Linear Content

  • Amassed production content is assembled real-time, often shot by shot, but sometimes scene by scene, allowing infinite variations depending on the viewer parameters. The idea of wasting 90% of footage is gone, shooting ratios are up, and meta-tagging and editorial scripting are new art forms.

  • Linear content is obsolete. At best, linear decisions are suggested by the technical director or editor, but not hard-and-fast, and the viewer plus Dynamics create the ultimate choices.

  • Content elements are unglued (content, music, sound effects, graphics). Content is assembled in real-time which requires heavy delivery backbone and new cacheing technologies taking advantage of more Moore's law in computer architecture and storage capacity.

  • Delivery infrastructure and backbone will expand multi-fold. Terrestrial broadcasters will finally begin to use the multi-thread potential of DTV. (Yes, immersive media will be available even to traditional broadcasters!)

AI Dynamic Content Assembly

  • World-based content The future of artistic creation will be to create "worlds" that customize the experience for the viewer. There will be directors, and super-directors. Gaming jobs will cross over into narrative and TV content.

  • Nouveau filmmakers The art form of television and linear media will be revolutionized, with new needs for visionaries and storytellers who will rule this new world of Dynamic Entertainment media. They will be a hybrid of Writers/Directors/Editors/Artificial Intelligence Designers.

  • Social Viewers Get ready to enjoy live events with a social audience around you, and feel free to move around a venue and choose what and where you want to experience. Give feedback to the world before you, and expect responses! A new category of social media celebrity will emerge, allowing super-viewers to be stars in their own right.

  • Editors as kings The royalty of this new world of TV will be a hybrid form of editor. These new storytellers will cut hundreds of variations on a scene, and will be more idea generators than linear story tellers, and will create bricks more often than lay them with mortar. Expect editing workforces to expand multi-fold, absorbing many other job descriptions.

Licensing and Advertising

  • With dynamic implications, commercials will become completely relevant to the viewer, will be assembled specifically for that viewer, will contain intimate personal information about the viewer's lifestyle, inventory, and choices, and will have the dynamic and subtle potential to influence the viewer in every aspect and activity of their lives. What does the viewer get in exchange? Loyalty, increased quality, cost-savings, and better entertainment. In fact, advertisers will benefit so much, they will pay for all this new dynamic expense in media creation and delivery. Everyone benefits.

  • Licensing and ratings will explode. Neilson, get ready for massive growth and revenue, tracking everything a viewer experiences!

I'm developing transcendental television for the new generation of TV viewers.  Thanks for watching in advance.

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