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Jul 2010

EuroITV 2010 Conference – End

Here’s a quick summary of some more presentations from the EuroITV conference:

* The use of TV as a reminder system for seniors’ medication (Brazil). Not that crazy of an idea.
* A panel on the impact of Internet on the traditional TV remote.  The panel moved a bit strangely.  Each presenter advocated an idea, one after another on the future of TV (the TV guide is dying, the future is in placeshifting, quality content is king, etc.).
* User expectations in terms of self-identification on interactive TV (for a personalized experience). A study was presented on the acceptability of different interaction modes on televisions in Austria. Strangely, fingerprint identification proved to be the users’ favorite …?
* A comparative study between a traditional remote control and a remote touchpad: the two remotes are more or less equal in terms of error rate, but the touchpad requires a lot more user movement.  The author concludes by stating his opinion that these remotes are destined to become popular in 5 years time, when touch interfaces become the majority.

* Recommendations: Because there’s so much content, specialists are calling for the television timetable to be replaced by intelligent recommender systems. A researcher presented an interesting overview of problems with recommender systems. One challenge is the notion of time; it is difficult to make good recommendations at first, as there would be no initial user data (implicit profiling).  He continued to present a method to optimize this element, a bit complex ..  On the same topic, another author has summarized his study on the use of recommendation software for Youtube videos as a Facebook application.  Their system uses a method combining both subjective measures and explicit judgements (user ratings of movies) and objective measurement (automated analysis of listening habits – eg playing time of a video, kind of the most popular videos, etc..). The system indicates that explicit and implicit data seem to converge, and that this combined approach is promising.  However, the majority of participants indicated they would not continue with the experiment afterward, as they judged it too demanding…

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