Crowds will be able to replay live action at sporting events using their mobile phones, and literally lay their taste in entertainment on the table using Microsoft’s Surface tablet.
Well, they would if the hypothetical deal between Microsoft and Foxtel were to be inked.
Speaking at Microsoft Remix 2010 today, Microsoft developer Michael Kordahi painted a scenario - he says indicative of the future - where a Windows Phone can feed user location to Foxtel to enable “live pocket replays” for sporting events.
“Foxtel works out that you’re at a [boxing] fight. If you miss part of the action, you can stream 15 seconds back with your phone. It becomes a pocket replay,” Kordahi said.
“You can meet friends in a coffee shop, and use your phone to see what movies you would like, and what’s showing. It doesn’t detract from the conversation; in fact, it adds to it.”
In a demonstration mock coffee shop scene, Kordahi and Shane Morris, director of a Microsoft partner, dragged movie titles between two Windows Phones and onto a Microsoft Surface tablet. The titles dragged off the phones, and floated on the tablet where they were surrounded by title descriptions and recommendations. Morris and Kordahi then traded movie title lists.
The metadata recommendations would be processed in Microsoft’s Asure cloud service and uses Silverlight 4 to enable integration between the devices.
However it is unlikely that such a service would be available across mobile devices such as Apple’s iPhone, according to Web Directions co-founder, John Allsopp. He said Silverlight does not work on competing devices and “is unlikely to do so” because of the rivalry between the mobile phone companies.
The discussion followed a presentation by Foxtel executive director of content, product and delivery innovation, Patrick Delany, who described the enhanced consumer features that will be made possible under the National Broadband Network (NBN).
He said the existing Foxtel set top units were “just dumb boxes” because of their “weak” searching capabilities.
Delany said the devices will become like web search engines and use new lines of metadata to customise movies and television programs to viewers’ taste.
“Our broadband is not too bad at the moment. The NBN will deliver more control to users and enable new search capabilities for the Foxtel boxes,” he said.
Delany shrugged off the threat of illegal downloads, and said users want “a trusted alterative”.
He said users would rather watch video on large televisions and will shun streamed video to PCs and small devices.
For his part in the web developer conference, Delany warned delegates that “just because [an application] is cool [doesn’t] mean it will be a hit with consumers”.