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Social Television

Social Television stands for technology that provides social interaction in the context of watching TV-programs or related to television content. It is a very active area of research and was named one of the 10 most important technologies by the MIT. Social Television is a fast growing market and multiple startups have recently appeared.

Social TV has been around for more than 10 years already but not till the rise of social networks it has become feasible, since it already encourages constant connection between members of the network and the creation of likely minded groups. Today’s 18-28 years old access the internet more oft en than they watch television and a growing number among them is interested in having more social features integrated into their TV-experience. Furthermore 23 % of U.S. broadband users want to view online content from sites like YouTube or Flickr on their TVs.

Social television is connecting viewers with their friends, families and people with same interests giving them a space to discuss and exchange recommendations. But how should this interaction be provoked? Demanding from the user to sit in front of his/her TV-Set using mouse and keyboard for interaction does not sound like the best solution. With Sonys release of its Playstation Move Controller all three major gaming platforms (Sony Playstation, Microsoft XBOX and Nintendo Wii) are now using alternative haptical user interfaces Additional drivers to use the Nintendo’s Wii controller on Mac, PC or even on a Smartphone already exist for years, Microsoft ’s Kinect has been reported to be hacked just recently and an open source solution for using Sony’s Move controller on PCs82 is on its way opening up an interesting research fi eld of how to use these controllers as interaction devices for other purposes like controlling Social TV content.

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