The Future of Content: Anything, Anywhere, Anytime: Page 2

Apple, Microsoft and Google will soon make all of the screens in your life work together in amazing new ways.
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The next phase is getting them to work together in intelligent ways. That means a single app, or a TV show that works with apps, will work together to create a multi-screen experience.

Not just TV on phones, or phone apps on TVs, but TVs and phones working together to create something never before possible.

So iPhones and iPads will function as remote control units, game controllers, and third screens.

Again, this is all speculation on my part. But no matter when Apple announces such a feature, Microsofthas already beat them to it -- at least to an announcement.

Microsoft announced this week a new feature called SmartGlass. It will show up in the form of an app (iOS, Android, Windows Phone or Windows 8) that can be used to control an Xbox. It can function like a TV remote, a game controller, a "second screen" for games or whatever third-party developers conjure up.

Google will almost certainly follow suit with new features that connect screens in both Google TV and Android for phones and tablets.

Apple, Microsoft, Google and others are in a life-or-death struggle for dominance of your living room and your “everything.” And they’ll do it by thrilling you with screen convergence.

Here are the kinds of activities this trend enables:

* Read a book to your kids on the TV -- you read from an iPad, but the child sees a big interactive experience on the TV.

* Use the microphone on your phone for a karaoke app or a game.

* Use your phone as a Wii-style controller, leveraging the built-in gyroscope and other sensors.

* Play games that show a different screen to each player. For example, a poker game might show the poker table on the TV with cards face down, but each player sees their own cards on their own mobile devices. You can throw cards face up on the TV by flicking them on the phone.

* Show a presentation on a TV and use the phone as clicker.

* Use any mobile device as the interactive remote control for the TV.

Note that the cable and satellite dish companies don't like any of this. It brings easy competition to scheduled broadcasts from anything and everything online or served up via apps. And it enables families to have one subscription, "consumed" on lots of screens.

But most of all, it takes more power and control over the distribution of TV and movies away from Hollywood and gives it to Silicon Valley.

I appeared as a guest on the netcast MacBreak Weekly this week, and host Leo Laporte pointed out his long-predicted expectation for the future of media. To paraphrase, he sees a world of anything, anywhere, anytime content.

No more worrying about platform, broadcast schedules, storage location or any of that. Whatever you want, wherever and whenever you want it is coming soon to a screen -- to all screens -- near you.

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Tags: Google, Android, Microsoft, Apple, IOS

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