Interactive TV is one of a handful of social technologies I approach with trepidation. For some kinds of programs, such as the news, I’d love to be able to interact with other viewers and share opinions about the day’s events. But would I really want to be distracted by tweets during a suspenseful episode of Lost? Or deal with chuckleheads trying to out-funny Neil Patrick Harris on How I Met Your Mother? No sir, I don’t like it.
Still, I’m cautiously optimistic about the technology, assuming three things come to pass:
- Interactive features are optional and controlled by the user at will.
- Marketers show a little restraint.
- Someone uses the technology to actually push television forward.
What do I mean by that last one? Well, imagine watching an improv comedy show that took viewer suggestions, or a game show that got the home audience involved or even maybe some sort of choose-your-own-adventure style programming. I want the feature to be more just a side dish. If I’m going to have my favorite shows invaded, I want it to count for something.
Are you excited by the prospect of interactive TV? Do you think it’ll actually make TV better? Or will it prove to be just another annoying little fad?
Image credit, dem10, via iStock