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In Response to the Next Sea Change from Bill Gates


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Bill gates recently wrote an internal document to his executives, titled “The Sea Change”. This letter speaks of the movement towards internet delivery of content, for Microsoft, its software and numerous other applications. So I went to bed that night after reading that article, and I had a dream……

Last night I had a dream about the fusion of Broadcasting and Internet television, and its current closest medium, podcasting. As podcasting has evolved over the past few years, it has morphed into all sorts of shapes of programming. But the real “Wow” factor behind podcasting is yet to be talked about, or not highly publicized at all.

That is, the merging of what we know as the “internet” and current broadcast, cable or satellite programming. It has long been discussed that the internet and television would one day be one in the same. But there has not been much talk into how this transition, into a new future of “Informative Entertainment” or “Intelligent Programming” will develop.

The question and conundrum that most dreamers faced is, what catalyst will form that will make this bridge possible. Well in my opinion, the catalyst is “podcasting”. Let me explain further.

Podcasting is the fusion of “pod” and “broadcasting”. “Pod” stands for personal-on-demand, so the word means personal on-demand broadcasting. It is based around an internet platform and xml/rss programming. Podcasting has now opened a new section of its market, which is called Video-podcasting, or Vod-casting. Vod-casting is the transmission of video over the internet in podcast format, for viewing on the web, or on personal devices.

Video podcasting has opened the floodgates for internet television to directly compete with traditional broadcast television. Over the next few years, companies like Microsoft will introduce home T.V. set-top boxes, which will stream internet feeds directly to televisions in your home. This is the birth of home internet television in its purest form.

As this medium grows, podcasting will become internet programming. The popularity of podcasting will grow the market to morph once again into a new-age of internet broadcasting companies. These podcasts will become T.V. shows with new programming, or re-runs. These shows will be able to be subscribed to, just like cable, but on an individual basis. As these shows grow in popularity, internet broadcast networks will start to form, and the traditional companies like ABC, CBS, NBC, and all the cable and satellite channels will have to conform to new technology to prevent being swept aside.

As the popularity of internet television grows and everyone has the ability to watch iTV in their home, a new vision will immerge. This new vision is what I call “Informative Entertainment” or “Intelligent Programming”.

Now you ask, “Well, what is this” and “How will that work?” Well, let’s start with the basics. Everyone owns a DVD or two right? If not, you have at least watched one, I hope. Now, when you put a DVD into the machine and turn it on, it takes you to a menu screen. This menu screen gives you options to choose from, such as scenes, extras, director’s cut and so on. These extras are huge draws for DVD sales, like Shrek, Star Wars, Madagascar, etc. The reason they are a big success, is because they put the power of choice in the hand of the user. Whatever your choice may be, the DVD will follow, and execute.

So what if podcasting had the ability to implement “user options”? What if you could watch a Video Podcast, and have the ability to choose different features of that podcast by simply placing your cursor over the screen and choosing your option. What if you had the ability to alter and control video, with the same user applicability that you can on a webpage or search engine.

You see, as I pondered this question, I thought about how this could even be possible, given our current internet code framework. Now I am not a tech junkie at all, in fact the only programming course I ever took was in 7th grade and it was on ms-dos basic. We were making video games with 40 x 40 bitmaps, with 16 bit colors, and h-line, v-line programming.

My current partner in my Podcasting Company, What I Want Podcasting, has extensive knowledge in c+ programming and understands today’s world of code writing. In the few years I have worked with him, I have picked up on a lot of knowledge he has, just by being around him.

So in my dream the other night, I saw a formula. Now this formula is basic in its inception, but I believe a very good beginning base for code-writers to understand the concept.

Video Extensive Hyper-text Markup Language powered by MRSS technology is what I am speaking of. (Vxhtml-mrss) . This is the name I have given it; however it is yet to determined what it will grow into.

In order to bring user manipulation of video and interaction capability, the user must be given an interface. This interface must be translucent in its visual appeal, and it must be synchronized based on bitmap programming to the video below.

Example:

Let’s say you are watching a commercial for a car, an intelligent commercial. This car is driving down the road, and the narrator is telling you about the performance of the vehicle. Now picture yourself with a cursor or arrow, like on any website. You can then place that arrow on pre-programmed places in the video, such as the wheels of the car, the engine of the car, or the windows of the vehicle. Once you click on that location, the intelligence begins to work. You “the user” has chosen to learn more about, let say, “The wheels.” So in theory, as you click on the wheel, a new video will start streaming that tells you all about the wheels of that particular car. These video will be programmed, and are ready to play once the user has chose that particular location of the video.

So now you can see how the translucent layer comes into effect. The layer allows you to manipulate the cursor over the moving video. Then, the bitmap allows you to pre-program coordinates according to the motion of the video, so that when the cursor interacts with the video, it selects a feed which was already pre-programmed to that location.

Let’s transition now to the code side of things, and this formula that popped in my head while sleeping.

We need additional support from the browsers, although I believe Microsoft and Netscape have new browsers that very close if not there already, in order for this to take place. So let’s talk about how the programming will work with this.

My understanding is that Markup Language does not support goto commands. Which is why html or xhtml exists, it is used to make the two work together. This process will combine xhtml with mrss to make this a reality.

With the evolution of mrss, comes the ability to use numerous multimedia channels for online access to content. These channels are what will allow the seamless transition of video from one user choice to another.

Here is the formula and its legend below.

T1 = Beginning of Video – Original Starting Point of the Feed

A = Cursor (user interface tool)

(X1, Y1, Z1) = Cursor Selection (User Choice) [Also, the Bitmap Coordinate location]

(RST1, RST2, RST3) = MRSS feed

(T2, T3, T4) = New Audio or Video files to be played (most likely MP3 or MP4)

The formula:

T1 is playing

If A= (X1, Y1, Z1, etc.)

Then goto string (RST1, RST2, RST3, etc.)

String RST then plays ( T2,T3,T4)

Car Commercial Example:

T1 = Beginning of Car Commercial

A = Cursor

(X1 )= Wheel

(RST1) = Wheel information feed (mrss)

(T2) = New Video about the Wheels

In order for this model to work, the formula below be implemented in to a Java, J-script, or C++. This code then should be implemented into the Hyper Text which should in theory allow it to function off the XML, which drives it the source of the MRSS.

Here are the key factors in review for this concept to begin its birth:

An interactive translucent interface must be developed. This interface must use pre-synchronization to mirror the movement of the video. Interface must use coordinate location in conjunction with pre-synchronized scripts to trigger user request.

These requests need to be seamless. In order for this to be seamless, better browsers must be developed that use a new type of coding. Maybe Video xhtml, or whatever this topic morphs into. In order to succeed in developing formulas that incorporate the “goto” function of this process, programming must be done on the Hyper-text side of the equation to make the XML work in conjunction with the MRSS.

Now this is my dream, physically adapted to paper and in my own words. This should at least spark the topic of discussion further in our press, and at it most grand effect, spark the minds of programmers and large corporations around the world to make this practically applicable in today’s society.

Ryan Hoback is Founder of the Motivated Entrepreneur, a Business Incubation & Consulting firm, specializing in helping entrepreneurs achieve success starting and growing their business.

He is also Chairman, and co-founder of What I Want Podcasting. A business podcasting firm specializing in developing the commercial application of podcasting, by integrating corporate branding and using nanocasting models.

He can be reached at 305-670-0998, or Rhoback@MotivatedEntrepreneur.com, Rhoback@WhatIWantPodcasting.com

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  • Posted On September 10, 2006
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