The Apple iTV Experience

Current predictions:

  • Apple will launch a new iOS based device priced at $99
  • The iTV will only have 16Gb of Flash based storage
  • It will mainly stream content from a local computer or the cloud
  • It’s only capable of 720p as opposed to 1080p
  • Apple is negotiating 99 cents rentals, down from $1.99 to $2.99, or even higher for HD. This will also apply for iPhone, iTouch, and iPad content consumption.
  • The device will have a built-in camera, or will be able to connect to one and run FaceTime.
  • iOS will run apps
    Extending on this last point: Apps … brands, marketers, advertisers, or any experience designer, this is the big question … How will they work? Can you run existing apps in the big screen? but if you do, the big screen is not multitouch, damn, it’s not even touch! You will need a special control just to point and click …

So perhaps you can’t run the same apps in the big screen … and you know, maybe it’s better if we don’t … the screen apps are content companions … the main purpose of the TV is not to run apps, but apps are there to extend and amplify the experience of TV content consumption.

Apps could run on sidebars, overlays, show and hide, or a number of different visual options; but in order for them not to be dump widgets — i.e. a weather widget — they will need to be connected, obviously, but also have contextual information of the content you’re watching. Imagine apps that allow friends to chat about content, possibly with FaceTime, but also interact with other friends watching the same show … enable co-watching experiences. Leave timestamped messages into content, or be pre-loaded with metadata about the content and let you explore more info about actors, places, sets, products … even let you click to buy the products you’re watching … The possibilities are endless.