Tag Archives: Verizon

Verizon Poised to offer the Digital Media Food Chain: Content Creation to Distribution

The service, which Verizon only refers to as OTT, or over-the-top, named because it will be available to anyone with an Internet connection, as opposed to a television subscription, is the company’s big growth engine for the future. So far, the company has been mum on the details.

The telecom company is readying a mobile and online video service for launch in late summer, and a top exec says there’s nothing like it.

Verizon continues to line up video content from partners as well as through acquisitions, such as AOL.

Source: Verizon mulls mobile video that doesn’t eat into your data cap – CNET

Wireless Data Plans, Packet Protocols, Granular Reporting

6 Days Left of my Billing Cycle: 0.3 GB Left (out of 10 GB)

Are you kidding me?! I login to AT&T’s Wireless, myAT&T portal to dive into where is all our data going?  I am able to see quite easily what mobile phone number is eating up our plan, but no additional granular information.  AT&T has a great site with lots of good information to help their customers manage their plans.

However, it seems wireless providers leave it up to the handset manufacturers to interpret the usage of the phones. Makes some sense on an individual level, but as multi line / family wireless plans continue to evolve, the growth of wireless services management portals should be spent on providing consumers transparency into their usage, aggregated and granular.

Packets of [wireless] data, bits of information, have a ‘signature’ as they travel through the Internet ether.  Packet protocol defines where the data/information originates, and it’s destination, as well as any other required information by the application sending / receiving the data.  Wireless carriers’, services management portal should allow consumers to slice and drill down to see how data is being used. For example,

Wireless plans of 10 GB is not a lot with teenagers.  You may want to target areas to curtail usage so you aren’t ‘bleeding data’.  At this time, there is not enough transparency on how data is being used from the wireless provider’s usage platform. The provider should be able to parse data packets to quantify how data is being used, and provide reports, e.g.

June 2015 Snapshot for 212-555-1212

231 songs streamed from ABC, N MB; 23 videos watched on YouTube, 2.3 GB; 34 streamed videos from Netflix, 3.2 GB; 345 emails downloaded, 90 MB;

DAM on wireless services:  Application data packet objects may have visibility through Digital Asset Management (DAM), all objects that can be managed, phone calls to chats from Facebook (except where encrypted).

Now take a piece of paper, write privacy on it, then rip it in half and toss it in the garbage.

Make Finding a Movie Just as much Fun as Watching it.

Content is king.  It seems to be resonating throughout the Entertainment universes.  Fantastic!  Content creators managing their content through licensing, and through their own distribution channel(s). The creation of short clips to entice viewers.   Of course, navigation to view content on a revolving carousel.

The entertainment industry has had successful initiatives in marketing their own content. and licensing their content for distribution and viewing to consumers.

What’s next?

  • Augmented and Virtual Reality

Sitting in your living room with VR headsets, enabling you to socialize before virtually entering the Theater.  Virtual meet ups for discussion / interaction around Genre, e.g. Action, Sci-Fi; or Adhoc meet ups, ‘e.g. by Actor, or Movie interests

Enable a viewer to select, and rotate perspectives of the actors/actress currently in the scene.

  • Movie / Television Trivia (by Genre, by Actor, by Movie)

Another creative way to match up viewer with media beyond the ‘Carousel’: Design games around the content provider’s owned or licensed content.  It will make for a more enriched experience, and help the viewer find their entertainment for the evening.  Even put together a licensing relationship with Hasbro for a spin off Trivial Pursuit.  ‘Sponsored puzzles’ like on ‘Wheel of Fortune‘ may help to bring in Advertising dollars.  Or a licensing deal with Screenlife,  makers of Scene It?,  Looks like Screenlife is a Paramount property, small world.

Game examples:

  1. reconstituting a ‘famous and recognizable’ image.   The image is taken directly from one of the movies being streamed.
  2. Guess where the movie or TV show short clip originated.  Select to stream, or play another round.
  3. In what movie or TV show did ‘this’ main theme song originate?

Human Evolution: Technology Continues to Transform Socieities for Generations

In the last 20 years, I’ve observed technology trends, and Tech achievements have risen and fallen from the mainstream.  Tech has augmented our lives, and enhanced our human capabilities.  Our evolution will continue to be molded by technology and shape humanity for years to come.

Digital Asset Management (DAM)

Everything you might find on your computer from emails to video are digital assets.  Content from providers, team collaboration,  push and/or pull asset distribution, and archiving content are the workflows of DAM.

DAM solutions are rapidly going main stream as small to medium sized content providers look to take control of their content from ingestion to distribution.  Shared digital assets will continue to grow rapidly.  Pressure by stockholders to maximize use of digital assets to grow revenue will fuel initiatives to  globally share and maintain digital asset taxonomies.  For example, object recognition applied to image, sound and video assets will dynamically add tags to assets in an effort to index ever growing content.  If standard taxonomies are not globally adopted, and continually applied to assets, digital content stored will become, in essence, unusable.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

All devices across all business verticals will become ‘Smart’ devices with bidirectional data flow.  Outbound ‘Smart’ device data flow is funneled into repositories for analysis to produce dashboards, reporting, and rules suggestions.

Inbound ‘Smart’ device data can trigger actions on the device. Several devices may work in concert defined by ‘grouping’ e.g. Home: Environmental. Remote programming updates may be triggered by the analysis of data.

  • AI Rules Engine runs on ‘backend’.  Rules defined by Induction,  through data analysis, and human set parameters,  executed in sequence
  • Device optimization updates, presets on devices may be tuned based on ‘transaction’ history, feedback from user, and other ‘Smart’ devices.
  • Grouped ‘Smart’ devices, e.g. health monitors’ data uploaded, analyzed, and correlating across group.  Updated rules, and notifications triggered.
  • Manual user commands, ad hoc or scheduled

… as a Service

Cloud ‘Services’ enables scalability on demand, relatively lower cost [CapEx] overhead, offsite redundancy, etc.  Provides software solutions companies to rapidly deploy to Dev., Test, and Prod. environments.  Gaming, storage, and virtual machines are just a few of the ‘…as a service’ offerings.  IoT analysis may reveal a new need for another service.

Human Interface

  • Augmented Reality A.R.

Integrates user to surrounding environment with overlay images to your eyes to REpresent anything, e.g. Identifies surrounding people with Twitter handle/user name above their heads.  Interacts with smartphone for Inbound and outbound data flow.  May allow App and OS programmers to enable users to interact with their ‘traditional’ software in new ways, e,g. Microsoft Windows 8+, current interaction with ’tiles’, may shift from a two to three dimensional manipulation and view of the tiles.  Tiles (apps) pop up when, through object recognition, predefined characteristics match, e.g.  Looking at a bank check sent to you from the mail?  Your Bank of America tile / app may ask if you want to deposit the check right now?

  • Virtual Reality, V.R.

As more drones, for example, collect video footage, may be used for people to experience the landscapes, beaches, cities, mountains, and other features of a potential destination, which may lead to tourism.  In fact, travel agencies may purchase the V.R. Headsets, and subscribe to a library of V.R. content.  Repository platform would need to be created.  Specs for the ‘How To’ on collecting V.R. Video footage should be accessible.  Hathaway real estate offers a V.R. tour of the house, from their office.

Autonomous  Vehicles (Average Consumer or hobbyist)

  • Cars 
  • Drones
  • Satellites 

Social Media Evolution

Driving forces to integrate with society puts pressure on individuals to integrate with the collective social conscious.  As digital assets are published, people will lunge at the opportunity to self tag every digital asset both self and community shared assets.  Tagging on social media platforms is already going ahead.   Taxonomies are built, maintained and shared across social media platforms.  Systematically tagged [inanimate] objects occur using object recognition. Shared, and maintained global taxonomies not only store data on people and their associated meta data, (e,g,  shoe size, education level completed, HS photo,etc.) but also store meta data about groups of people, relationships and their tagged object data.

The taxonomies are analyzed and correlated, providing better, more concise demographic profiles.  These profiles can be used for 

  • Clinical trials data collection
  • Fast identification of potential outbreaks, used by the CDC
  • The creation and management of AI produced Hedge Funds
  • Solicitation of goods and services

Out of Compliance

These three dreaded words you are guaranteed to see more and more often.  As all aspects of our lives become meta data on a taxonomy tree, the analysis of information will make correlations which drive consumers and members of society ‘out of compliance’.  For example, pointers to your shared videos of you skydiving will get added to your personal taxonomy tree.  Your taxonomy tree will be available and mandatory to get life insurance from a tier 1 company.  Upon daily inspection of your tree by an insurance AI engine, a hazardous event was flagged. Notifications from your life insurance company reminding you ‘dangerous’ activities are not covered on your policy.  Two infractions may drive up your premiums.

The Channel Guide is Dead. Move on Already.

If I have to scroll through another channel guide, or search using an archaic user interface one more time.!.  I will just use my web streaming service instead.  At least the web, video streaming apps have started to innovate how the consumers click through to get their content. TV channel bundled providers (Cable Cos., AT&T, Verizon, etc.)  typically display ‘what’s on?’ in the form of the classic channel guide, or variations of it.   The TVCBP , or TV Channel Bundled providers,  also allow us to get through to content by drilling down into our desired genre.  Finally, the TVCBP allow the watcher to search ‘painfully’ using the TV remote keyboard.

The set top box evolution, such as UI revamp, are at times, slow like a huge glacier moving along in the Arctic.

Changes, here they come

First, the new ‘Media Guide’, is a display page of tiles, similar to Windows 8., Nintendo Wii, Netflix, or Amazon.  Netflix and Amazon are displaying tiled pages.  In each row users are enabled to horizontally scroll through the tiles of movie covers.  These tiled movie rows are grouped by e.g.  recommended movies based on user viewing history to ge

In this new paradigm, we add a level of abstraction to the row, grouping, scrolling carousel model.

Genre or N grouping of channels / media brands coalesce in clouds, such as cloud hashtags.   A person can drill into the ‘content universe’ and select a genre or grouping cloud. A user would navigate network icons in the ‘content cloud’.  Highlighting a network icon plays out the current, live video stream.

The ‘Content Cloud’ within the ‘Content Universe’ is the overarching paradigm.  ‘What are currently the most popular channels to view within the providers viewership’ would have each network icon color coded, e.g. red hot, cool blue.

A genre, or N grouping, has network icons grouped around the category.   Hovering the Set Top Box (STP) remote pointer over the network icon will popup a live stream from the channel.  Drilling down by clicking the channel/network icon,  a tiled view of the current and the next 24h is displayed. The current show has a pop up for the current streamed show, selecting it then plays in the entire screen.    If you hover over any future shows, one of two things occur. If there is a 30 sec promo for the show, a pop up shows the promo. If no promo, the show beauty shot still for the show is displayed. If the user selects the show, current or future, a menu overlays the still or show in progress with options such as record show / DVR.

The UI would also allow the user to create their own tiled pages using their favorite channels, and again,  hovering over the image would allow play out in a popup of the current stream.  The tiles can be sorted by your popularity rating, general popularity rating, ascending or descending title names, and most watched videos from the TVCBP.

If our TV bundled channel providers want to keep and lure new subscribers, then they need to innovate the STB software and think about how you evolve the viewer experience.

 

Data Quota Limits on Member’s of Family Data Plans

I don’t see it when I log in to my AT&T Wireless account…yet, but I was trying to put a cap or maximum amount of the shared data each person in the plan is ALLOWED to use.  A use case, my kids are on my family plan, and I want to limit their data usage.

Another possible case, from a small business perspective, if you add a few lines on your plan, then you may allocate to specific type of employees, such as sales reps., specific amounts of data.  There are several types of widgets can be used, such as a pie chart, and the total pie represents the total data package, and each slice represents an allocation to each member of the shared plan.

Update: I stand corrected, and do see an AT&T Smart Limits for 4.99 USD per month:  Am not sure if the ‘allocation program’ is implemented like the use case I presented.

  • Block Unwanted Calls and Texts: Specify up to ’30’ blocked numbers.
  • Prevent 411 Charges: Easily block calls to 411 Info.
  • Limit Data Usage: Set monthly limits on data usage per billing cycle.
  • Limit Texting: Set monthly limit for number of text messages per billing cycle
  • Limit Purchases: Limit monthly purchases, such as apps and games that are billed directly to your AT&T account. Does not restrict credit card purchases from smartphone app stores.
  • Limit Phone Use By Time of Day: Restrict texting, data usage and outbound calling during specified times of day. Designate allowed numbers regardless of other restrictions – up to 15 numbers.

User Interface Usability and Video On Demand Content from Distribution Portals

Cable and phone companies are competing in their marketing campaigns for high speed and cost.  There are many more attributes, features, they can compare and contrast between their competition to show leading edge.  For example, the industry association may hire an independent user interface usability organization to show who’s system is the most user friendly, i.e. easier to use.  E.g. a study by an independent body declares N has the easiest system to use, and provides the most functionality.

Another measure of comparison between content distributors might be how much content is available on demand, roughly, for Free, Premium, and On Demand, Paid content.  I had all the providers in my area, and found that one interface made it easier to see how much content was available for video on demand, e.g. the user interface made their content more transparent, and it appeared one provider had significantly more content than another.  There are may features video content distributors can highlight in their commercial advertising with a bullet point scroll, video shot.  There are significant feature advantages that may differentiate these providers, and I don’t know why a comparison chart has not been made available.

Mandatory Service for Your Smartphone: Change the Oil Please

As a way to continue to sell into their existing channel, as well as retain their existing customer base, I might try a sales/marketing strategy if I was a wireless carrier, which would bring in existing customers every six months into the store.

Analogous to an oil change for your car, or mandatory service, I would require existing customer base into a participating wireless carrier partner to perform the following on the existing user’s smartphone:

  •  Check the performance of the smartphone upon existing ‘idle conditions’, and determine if there are any application [services] are required to run by querying the user, and uninstalling any currently unused applications.
  • Check the performance of the smartphone upon start up, and see if there are any performance enhancement tools can be installed to the smartphone to help curb the usage of the memory and CPU cycles.  Company may advocate new third party products for the smartphone platform.
  • Depending upon the timing and the available deals, company may advocate any third party peripheral products, such as a car charger,or an male to male jack to plug the sound into your car to play music; a Bluetooth headset, or help connect your phone to your cars existing Bluetooth system.
  • Depending upon the timing and the available deals, company may advocate for an upgrade to the existing smartphone, either the Operating System or the hardware.
  • The company may try to sell another line into the package; i.e. sell additional lines, or new features that may be available at the current time, or conversion from a single to a family / multiple line package.

Bloomberg initiates Driverless, Electric Vehicle(EV) Lane on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, NYC

Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg had been rumored to have started a stealth works project on New York Cities’ Belt Parkway.  It has already launched with private seed money intent at setting up the company to run the project.  It is initially going to be a private and public joint effort to add an additional lane to the Belt Parkway, currently two lanes, and runs through the Borough of Brooklyn.  The intent of this new lane is to be used solely by electric cars (EV), as well as driver-less  vehicles.  This new, bold experiment, rumor has it, is to be announced at the cities IT expo later in the year.

Although companies like Google, Chevy / GM, and Verizon are salivating privately regarding the potential contract opportunities, they are staying at bay until the announcement later this year.  It is also rumored this project includes a share and ride program, with automated transportation housing system for the vehicle storage.

Those close to the story would not articulate if this ambitious program is directed more toward clean energy and saving money for the state, or if this is a larger political move to step into the national arena for Bloomberg.]

Where is My .fon Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD)? .tel doesn’t cut it.

Every phone number in the world should have an IP address and a domain name associated with it, hence the gTLD proposal for .fon for every phone number.  Things like us.emergency.fon = 911 would be possible.   In addition, a group of cloud vendors would be awarded management of sections of these domains, which may be aligned to the phone number carrier, or if they don’t have the capability, they can ‘sell’ or ‘lease’ out the resource to a third party Internet Provider and Cloud Vendor, similar to the way we sell mortgages, or the mortgage companies sell off our mortgage.

Not only would the service of management of the domain name correlated to an IP address and a phone number, but each IP would have a virtual image managed in the cloud, which could provide to the consumer, cloud storage for storing public and private documents, as well as a ‘home page’, cloud computing cycles for the consumers public and private applications, as well as enabling the services: VoIP, text and email messaging.

These services may be provided free for some basic subset, and the extended subset would charge the customer, e.g. for additional cloud storage space.  In addition, the client may choose to move their service to another provider.  A public index.html home page, and a private index.html home page could be created, so a person may design their own portal, e.g. containing widgets, frequently used numbers, news widgets, etc.  These pages scale downward to a mobile device or up to a high resolution image, e.g. addressable HD television.