Jun 222009

I was invited to keynote at the IADIS multi conference in the really tough summer environment that is Carvoeiro (a quaint Portugese coastal town & limestone cliff’d seascape on the Algarve). The conference (at the Tivoli Hotel image below) has many strands overlapping probably due to over 1300 submitted papers looking at a massive range of topics. I have linked to each of the main strands below that were excellently edited by Prof. Katherine Blashki, Prof. Pedro Isaías & others. Most of the papers are typically academic (meaning theoretical or retrospective), but a few gems some were ‘zeitgeist practical/industrial’ and some needed a good deal of focus, kick-up the proverbial.

TiVoli Portugal

I was lead keynoting for a few strands, namely Telecommunications, Networks and Systems 2009, Informatics 2009 and the main conference Game and Entertainment Technologies 2009. It was a tall order to bridge these areas so I tried to encapsulate a few of my own current practical strands as well as ‘thinks’ at how play is truly everywhere, already escaped the bounds of the screen but the real focus was about the many new forms being created organically inside social media networks. (This slideshare is annotated – albeit in a slightly jetlagged haze and so only scrape the surface of the key messages!). The talk was well received and nice to see terms like ‘transocialmedia’ being used in discussion in later sessions. Also interesting to see a Strategy Analytics report using the term ‘Social Virtual Worlds’ I coined a couple of years ago in a report linked here and in my presentation below.

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Apr 182006

Another Milia-post break so I can add the next in the ‘Media Journeys’ episodes started a few weeks ago – epiposts? I had a seed sown (read: scribbled on the back of a programme!), during Milia, of a simple evolution of media and associated receiving devices. My diagrammatic excursion below is not intended as a catch-all – it doesn’t look at the many media forms across the devices (that is in part 3) but plots time against portability and interactivity and at the same time look at 4 continuum – moving image, computing, voice communication and games. There are other ‘Moore’s law’ elements I would have like to have added but you can take them as read that the big three (storage, bandwidth and processing power) are all increasing up and to the right.

Before we continue a couple of important points. 1. This is a blunt, industry perspective so it is intended to be simplistic 😉 2. The word convergence is never intended to suggest replacement (ie: everything is moving to one entity, point). ALL, I repeat ALL of the elements on the charts are still in existence and apart from VHS and DVD will be around for a good while. We also see ‘divergence’ of media forms as it morphs across a sea of devices that continue to grow, layer upon layer.

Chart One – Simply the axes of Interactivity (level of choice and engagement) on the x and Portability (personalisation, ownership) on the y.

Convergence �Gary Hayes

Chart Two – The addition of a subtle chronology rainbow of the last 100 years of media or so. It is surprising when you see the next few charts how the introduction of key devices map exceedingly well against this timeline. The never ending rush to portability and interaction/communication.
Convergence �Gary Hayes

Chart Three – This is a quite specific ‘moving image’ continuum mapped across the grid. Starting from the one to few cinema in the 20s, from one to many broadcast TV in the 40s, going through the capture and playback VHS and CD/DVD in 60s and 80s through to portable Personal Video Recorders iPods and other media players 2000 onwards. Part metaphoric also for other linear forms as radio/audio follow the same path.

Convergence �Gary Hayes

Chart Four – A simple chronology of computing, from the desktop of the 70s through to the portable journey of laptops, PDA’s and connected devices of the last few years

Convergence �Gary Hayes

Chart Five – Without looking too deeply into VoIP this contains only two elements. The moderately portable landline telephone (meaning you can make calls from phone boxes, cafes, various rooms in house) to the ultra portable true mobile really introduced in the late 80s.

Convergence �Gary Hayes

Chart Six (click on image for larger version)- The basic evolution of early games consoles and set-tops rooted to the TV then the portable journey to today’s portable games units, from Sony and Nintendo for example.

Convergence �Gary Hayes

So there we have it if you click on the final chart you will get a higher res version to explore in your own time. A few of the elements don’t line up completely (not sure a video iPod is more interactive than a laptop for example, or all the games units more interactive than communication devices etc:). One could get overly detailed but my real goal is to raise what we actually think the ‘?’ will be. That character on the top right of the chart. In the portable domain will we always have separate phone and serious gaming device. I am not sure. We are already seeing the merging of the phone, organiser and media player (8GB phones around the corner folks) – given you can dock these portable devices to the larger screen, carry all your content and that they can receive high definition TV, do we need fixed devices at all – is there a sweet-spot device? The charts do hopefully raise this point. In Pt 3, I map media forms in a similar way, the difference between individual form, services and formats, keep watching.

Posted by Gary Hayes ©2006