Archive | January 2012




Report: Smart TVs Getting Wider Adoption Than 3DTV

Consumer demand for Web-enabled TVs is double that for 3DTV this holiday season

One in five broadband households in the United States intend to buy a new television by the end of the year, with 73% of those buyers opting for an Internet-connected “smart” TV, according to a new Parks Associates report.

Demand for Web-enabled television is nearly twice that for 3DTV, underscoring the appeal for lower-cost video entertainment derived from the Internet, compared wth 3D.

The Parks study — “Consumer Decision Process: Holiday Intentions” — found that middle-class households with annual incomes from $50,000 to $75,000 are seeking Internet-connected TVs. Indeed, 20% of middle-class homes intend to purchase a smart TV, compared with 12% of households with incomes above $75,000.

“Smart TVs are now pushing into the mainstream, whereas previously smart-TV buyers were largely early adopters and those from high-income households,” said principal analyst Kurt Scherf. “The combination of a maturing product ecosystem with great holiday deals is putting smart TVs within the reach of the American middle class.”

While wider consumer interest in smart TVs may be good news for equipment manufacturers, increasing consumer access to over-the-top, or OTT, video content via Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime and YouTube is worrisome for pay-TV providers. That’s because consumers who purchase a smart TV this holiday season also are more likely than average pay-TV subscribers to cancel or downgrade their pay-TV service within the next 12 months, according to Parks.

Indeed, No. 1 and 2 cable operators Comcast and Time Warner Cable reported a combined loss of nearly 300,000 video subscribers in their most recent fiscal quarters — losses the companies attributed to the economy and not necessarily OTT services.

“Smart TVs expand a household’s available content choices without raising content costs,” Scherf said. “Consumers pay a premium for the device now, but our research indicates these purchases could be part of a long-term plan for many budget-conscious households to reduce their overall [content] expenditures.”

Wandering from Intelligent Things to Smart TV

Posted on December 16, 2011 

The world of Intelligent Things

Netexplo presented recently a meaningful conference related to the world of Intelligent Things. What is this world? Intelligent Things are objects which “become” intelligent because they connect to the Internet.

At Lieu du Design, in a conference named ”Digital objects, design of a new industrial world – Internet of things”, and presented last May by Jean-Louis Frechin, one talked about “extending objects by Internet connection“. Extension means a various set of actions enhancing the object: hacking, gluing, watching through sensors like cameras, …

Some Intelligent Things are extensions of pre-existing objects (“revisiting the object”), but others are original creations, designing specific Internet objects that will communicate, collect and display knowledge, entertain, collaborate, …

Actually, Rafi Haladjian, a forerunner in creating Intelligent Things with his Nabaztag rabbit, distinguishes various ranges of sensors, an essential piece to change inert objects into Intelligent Things: “infrastructure, smart phone, enhanced device, neo objects, add-on like Rfid tag, and DIY (do it yourself)”.

Sensors collect data and lead to the “area of big data“, and the concept of “web squared“.

To bring a connected object to success, you need to lower the necessary motivation for the user to put in data, insisted Rafi Haladjian: “The less motivation is required from the user, the better the data collection will be“.

What are the benefits of  Intelligent Things?

Intelligent Things have been discussed for a decade. The fact is that it’s a grown-up population now with a bright future: there are 5 billions of connected objects, and it will rise up to 20 billions in 2020 corresponding to a € 80 billions worth market target .

Through the various actions it can stage (communication, knowledge collect and display, entertainment, collaboration), Intelligent Things bring many benefits:

  • simplification: easy online set-up, forget about the 20 pages user guide, and painless upgrade;
  • enrichment of the interaction and of the service delivered thanks to the Internet connection;
  • streamlined worldwide deployment: object is produced once and can be locally customized through the Internet;
  • emotion: living object triggers affection, and one starts taking care of the object. “If Internet dehumanizes us, the good thing is that Internet now humanizes objects”;
  • affiliated data, …

The connected objects developped by Withings are a good use case to illustrate these benefits:

  • the same wi-fi body scale and blood pressure monitor are delivered all over the world, offsetting strongly stock management complexity;
  • they escape the printed user guide, and provide enriched services compared to traditional objects;
  • they generate a continuous flow of data that can be used by other service developpers through API exposed by Withings.

When  Intelligent Things meet with Social Innovation

Deriving from the Withings API offering, let’s go down the way where Intelligent Things embrace open innovation paths and collaborative design approach. At Netexplo conference, I was not far from hearing: “Let them hack your innovation!“.

Here are some practical illustrations:

  • Vlad Trifa moved the debate “from the Internet of Things to the Web of Things“; Web of things encompasses social web, real-time, programmable, semantic web, and physical Internet devices. Buying a connected object links me to an online community: he draws the concept of a “Facebook of objects” (actually Facebook open graph already links our social identity to the objects we use, “Open graph connect people to objects and then to activities” said Facebook at Le Web 2011).

  • Usman Haque described Pachube, an online database enabling developpers to create sensors and apps. Pachube empowers communities of connected people, by sharing real time data from  captors, and increasing interactions. Naturally, to get started, you have to trust “open and collective” data: open source has proved the power of peer review. Usman Haque stressed on a generous direction: “Let others make value out of your data, and provide you in return with input which will let you make sense of your environment, understand, measure, and challenge standard”.
  • Ricardo Ferreira has designed a connected urban community with Living Plan IT, and also a place for “innovating in a living co-laboratory, a proving ground for the many Place Apps developed on the Urban Operating System™ by its partners”.

The global overview I remember is that Intelligent Things become clever when they operate socially and entice collective intelligence, capturing data from various individual sources to compile them, and display the results back to the community.

The next Open Source Intelligent Thing

Another hike in Social Innovation brings me to connect the dots between Intelligent Things and Open Source Objects approach.

Open Source Objects are hardware produced by open source communities, in the same way open source software is completed: design files can be distributed, used, and modified, on the condition you stipulate the source.

Some Open Source Hardware communities gather in Fab Lab (fabrication laboratory), which are “small-scale workshop offering personal digital fabrication“. They were initiated at the MIT Lab by professor Neil Gershenfeld following his observation of night-shift students using school machines to manufacture personal projects!

Open Source Hardware communities occupy physical spaces orhackerspaces spread all over the world, but many collaborative work is processed through online cooperation, exchanging digital information and code. Some famous achievements are the 3D printer RepRap (various examples and design plans can be seen at, and electronic prototyping platform Arduino.

The significant change is that all these devices are embedding software, and therefore open the door to the way innovation developps in the software world. If you “can make almost anything” with Fab Lab as Professor Gershenfeld says, I can’t wait to see the first “Open Source Intelligent Thing”.

As Fab lab are small-scale manufacturing, it might not be produced at large scale like other Intelligent Things in a dedicated plant : nevertheless, by activating the intelligence and the capacity of many, “Open Source Intelligent Thing” might well find his path to a massive exposure.

Can Smart TV be an Intelligent Thing?

Last mile in my journey brings me to my area of expertise, Smart TVIf TV becomes smart, does it turn into an Intelligent Thing?

Smart TV as I dreamt it last Christmas definitely meets some characteristics of Intelligent Thing: enrichment of the interaction and of the service, multiplication of content and schedule available, streamlined worldwide deployment, emotion, simplification of set-up and upgrade, …

One thing Smart TV is running out is generating affiliated data, and letting developpers make value out of them. 

If Smart TV were an Intelligent Thing, it would capture all the data provided from our TV viewing and from our forthcoming TV interaction (Internet, Gaming, Communication, …) , and share them so they could benefit collectively to innovative applications that would provide value back to the viewers and the TV ecosystem.

At a time  where Connected TV manufacturers seem in search of sense, building an open platform to share real-time data captured by Smart TV sensors, and enabling communities to create innovative TV apps for viewers, brodacasters, advertisers, would have a strong meaning.




  1. Innovation is the creation of better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are accepted by markets, governments, and society. Innovation differs from invention in that innovation refers to the use of a new idea or method, whereas invention refers more directly to the creation of the idea or method itself.
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  2. Pingback: Wandering from Intelligent Things to Smart TV | Social media marketing |
  3. In the Digital TV world there is massive disruption because of technology advancements. In fact there is a huge problem in that technology leap frogging (innovation) that appears to be constant, as well as the over supply of new and better mousetraps (innovation-maybe or Maybe Not) by a myriad of new Companies, who then when asked to supply in mass quantity suddenly realise the difficulty that is scalability in technological and basic business i.e. Corporate terms…a Digital TV Technology is today a runaway train that simply is, in the main, irrational when it comes to business acumen…a Business that should like all businesses firstly obtain ROI and Profitability in order to sustain business.

    I will give an example of innovation – Black and White TV, Colour TV, High Definition Analogue, Standard Definition Digital, High Definition Digital, 3DTV…Ultra High Definition TV, Super Ultra High Definition TV … Hologram TV…TV Everywhere…For the same masses of eyeballs that watch TV between the limited hours of 7pm & Midnight. Terrestrial, Cable, Satellite, IPTV, WebTV, OTT, TV Everywhere, Companion devices, Smartphones, Tablets…TV on all devices…even the Fridge gets a mention…

    Analogue HD failed, 3DTV is a waste of investment, as it turns out, UHDTV is coming (Ultra High Definition) what for? To keep TV Engineers in work … Nothing more. We have seen masses of Companies chase a technology based solution for their markets and fail – innovation like BluCom at Astra – Business model failed. MHEG-5, MHP, HbbTV for Public Service Broadcaster DTT interactiveTV – Business Model Failed. IPTV – MULTI-Billions of dollars investment for a very small % of TV subscribers in comparison to Broadcast TV. Good ROI – Not at all!. Now the latest innovation is Connected TV (another Valhalla), so was WebTV which failed not because web was weak in them days but the cost of Customer Support was ignored…Sony last week tried to justify “carriage charges” for its Connected TV platform to Broadcasters who already ship the same Content to a TV antenna for no carriage charge … Business model not thought out or ignored. There are too many other examples to write here. In the main as one innovative TV technology tries to mature another pops up to distract a CTO and he runs around like a headless chicken too frightened to ignore it in case it is the next big thing and to frightened to invest in case it isn’t.

    More innovation – Why are CE manufacturers becoming Broadcasters? Because they have run out of market…The TV is a commodity and we all have a couple or 3. So what do they do next? Like in the UK – Tesco becomes a Broadband provider and a Bank … etc. etc.

    So as it stands some of us are trying to ride the tide of innovative technologies, we stay anchored in the fundamentals and we try to keep our head above water in the hope that some of these waves pass by without damaging the foothold we have…We adapt for sure but we have also been victim of massive innovation wastage, massive distractions with money that has not been wisely spent…Whilst everyone else is trying to be in everyone elses’ business we will see in the not too distant future consolidation and the “nettoyage” that is borne of technology innovation bubbles…or we may just float away taken by the wind, forever changing direction and not ever reach the end goal. Or we maybe innovation means that we wont!

What I learned pitching 300+ times in 4 days

Posted on March 17, 2011 by admin

I went to SXSW to learn and to network for my startup Swayable. Prior to going I decided I needed to have a giveaway of some sort that was an easy conversation starter so I could start conversations and practice pitching Swayable to random people vs. having to just cold start conversations with a smile and business card (lets face it, no one is interested in talking to you randomly if you just have a business card to give them.)

So I created 2 giveaways, I bought iPhone charger cables in bulk on eBay and then bought bulk screen wipes and put all of these in tiny bags with labels I made that had both my web and iPhone App link and QR code representing both.

My goals were:

  • To talk to as many people as I could about Swayable;
  • Get comfortable pitching;
  • Learn how to pitch quickly to engage someone;
  • Exit gracefully if a person wasn’t interested.

I looked at everyone at SXSW as potential customers and here’s what I learned.

Day 1:

  • I learned that it’s awkward as hell to walk up to random strangers and pitch a product – thank goodness for my giveaways!
  • I learned marketing language translates really poorly into pitching. People don’t connect with it and automatically are closed off.
  • I learned very quickly that I struggled with a graceful exit if it was clear that someone didn’t’ connect with Swayable.

Day 2:

  • I learned to ask for feedback. I would ask some people that I had a good conversation with. “How was my pitch, how would you pitch Swayable
  • I tried a variety of pitches and started to see what connected better based on the feedback I got simply from asking for feedback.
  • At Meetups – I learned to listen first find out what the person was working on then when I pitched I’d customize it a bit to their industry/service.

Day 3:

  • I learned that it’s perfectly ok that not everyone is going to “get it” and how to stop over talking and gracefully exit.
  • I started pitching everywhere- Starbucks, Fed Ex Kinkos, out at the bars in lines (because SXSW has lines everywhere),  in shuttles, and I actually pitched a couple of times in the pedi cabs next to other pedi cab passengers.
  • I continued asking how to pitch better.
  • I felt much more comfortable with the awkwardness of random pitching.
  • I learned that women got my product much more than men. Validating that my target audience is definitely going more female than male.

Day 4:

  • I learned that telling people I am the founder of the company actually helped a ton with credibility.
  • I learned that telling people to actually try the product and send me feedback directly actually made people want to help!
  • I learned that in 1 sentence I could tell if someone gets it or not. (note: day 1 it took me 3-4 fumbling sentences to get there)
  • I am comfortable pitching in a wide variety of situations and can read people well if they get it or not.
  • I can exit much more gracefully in the moments when someone does not click withSwayable.
  • I learned that overall about 70% of the people I talked to “got” Swayable, likedSwayable. The other 30% will likely not be users and that is perfectly ok.
  • I learned that it is possible to get to a point where you are so exhausted you don’t want to talk anymore and you still have 20 more give aways to hand out ;)

One of the things I found odd is that not once did someone pitch me. I wasn’t stopped anywhere or given anything more than flyers handed out by tightly clothed women. No one else took the time to talk to me about there products or services outside of proper meet ups and networking events.  I fully expected all sorts of startups to be pitching in creative ways, connecting, talking, meeting etc. I must have missed those locations but I was definitely looking for others doing the same thing ;)

I’m not sure if what I did will help with the growth of Swayable. However, I feel great knowing that I am much more comfortable pitching and connecting with people aboutSwayable. I met some amazing people, learned a ton and will definitely be back next year at SXSW.

And if you’ve just read this full article…

Check out Swayable… in action, right here embeded on my blog (yes, you can embed any swayable on your site too ;) )

Facebook IPO Hitting in Late May

The Birth of world’s 2nd richest guy
The question is would it be more expensive than Google?

Facebook‘s long-awaited IPO is likely to come in late May, according to a report.

Citing “multiple sources,” All Things D reports that the social networking giant will offer shares to the general public during the third week of May. That means Facebook has to file its documents with the SEC within a month since a review by the agency usually takes three to four months, the site reports.

However, the report also warns that the timing could fluctuate. “This IPO planning could all change in a New York minute to another month.” Indeed, after the market’s gyrations over the summer of 2011, IPO dates forGroupon and Zynga became moving targets as the companies sought favorable conditions.

Facebook reps could not be reached for comment on the report.

SEE ALSO: How Facebook’s Expected $100 Billion IPO Breaks Down [INFOGRAPHIC]

The timing of Facebook’s IPO has been a source of speculation for the past few months since the $100 billion offering will likely be one of the 10 biggest IPOs of all time and the largest of any tech company. In November,The Wall Street Journal, which, like All Things D, is owned by Dow Jones & Co., reported that Facebook would go public sometime between April and June.

Yelp, which is planning its own $100 million IPO sometime this year, will undoubtedly be closely watching the timing around a purported Facebook IPO with vigor.

Google TV Root Hack Allows For Hulu Streaming, Makes The Connected TV Platform Interesting Again


Monday, February 20th, 2012

Google TV launched a year and a half ago. The platform has gone nowhere since according to a recent survey. It relaunched late last year, which brought improved performance and a sweet search tool, but it’s still not worth your time. However, it’s finally getting a bit interesting thanks to Sony Internet TV root hack that enables Flash, finally breaking through the big media’s blockade preventing users from accessing Hulu and other streaming sites.

The hack is a bit involved. It takes four USB drives and a bit work to downgrade the OS to a previous release to enable the exploit that emulates an official system update to install the custom kernel. But it sounds like it’s worth the trouble.

The modded kernel opens up Google TV to all sorts of tomfoolery. This hack alone brings Flash, stops automatic updates (which would kill the root access), and enables NTFS support for external drives — all great updates to Google TV. However, root access finally allows developers complete access to Google TV. As The Verge points out, an adblock app is already in the talks.

Google TV is in trouble, but this is a step in the right direction. The platform was crippled shortly after launch when big media cut off access to sites like Hulu, ABC, NBC and other streaming sites. The Google TV team then spent the next year retooling the platform to be a cable TV companion. It was never supposed to be a device for cord cutters, they said. But it could be a device for cord cutters.

Like most things Android, the next Google TV update (ARM support) is supposed to bring prancing unicorns and enchanting fairies. But owners, clearly feed up with the lack of compelling features, took it upon themselves to hack Google TV and enable features taken away from them. Take note, Google. These are the features you should be adding.