Week 3 – Assignment – Mullally

Honeycrisp Inc. has recently announced on their website, and through mass media, a breakthrough technology that can read body language and vital signs making viewing television more intuitive, and allowing watching to ‘automatically’ watch what they want to watch. This has TV viewers eager to see what this technology can do for their viewing experience. Like most new technology the purpose of development is to make life easier. Without a doubt Honeycrisp Inc. is on the cutting edge in advancing the technologies that we use to view television programs.

Producers and developers of television programs would be thrilled by this new technology because it allows them to target niche markets on a more personal level much better than previously could. This not only allows them to more accurately measure viewership, but to also gauge whether or not a viewer is enjoying their program through instantaneous feedback by the changes in their vital signs. This new technology may help some producers and developers create new programming by measuring what shows are successful. As well, with this technology there would be programs that would be cancelled in a more timely manner and provide the developers the ability to learn from their mistakes and amend their programs.

As a society the new technology being offered by Honeycrisp Inc. may not help the youth of today expand their knowledge about the world outside of mindless entertainment. As a child I never wanted to watch any of the educational programs that would help me learn about the world we live in. I only wanted to watch the shows I enjoyed, which were mostly cartoons. I believe children today are the same way. Without discipline and guidance they would most likely watch meaningless television shows all day. Children will be narrow in their thinking as it relates to the world at large and I believe society will become more stupid in the future with this technology.

A good example of this technology not necessarily improving a person’s viewing experience would be my mother. In the past her favorite television programs mostly included those found on TLC and HGTV, such as “Love It or List It’ and “Holmes on Homes’. She had gotten a recommendation from a close friend and watched an episode of a new show “Game of Thrones’. My mother loved the program and has since watched every episode. If this technology had been in place then “Game of Thrones’ would never have been selected for her to watch. It was only after she took the initiative to try a new genre of programming that she would have expressed the body language and vital signs indicating that “Game of Thrones’ was a show that she found incredibly entertaining. This technology could preclude the opportunity to enhance your TV viewing experience.

Television today is mostly half-hour to an hour programs with most of that time filled with advertising. Although advertising is a necessary part of television I believe that with this new technology the amount of advertising will be affected because people will turn the TV off rather than watch advertised filled programs. This is the result of the recent trend of recording programs on a DVR then watching at a later time when all the ads can be skipped over. As far as I can tell nobody likes advertising. I believe that for this new software to be successful advertisement revenue would need to be made up by other means such as charging higher rates on a sliding scale (from no advertising to typical 10 minutes per half-hour show) to cover the loss of advertising revenue.

Another issue with the technology is what would occur when there are multiple viewers in the room. Everyone would either be ‘forced’ to watch the program choice of the individual that the technology is reading. The programming could also be shows that are not necessarily appropriate for the group in front of the Honeycrisp product if the individual being ‘read’ has an inappropriate thought as a result of other programming that they’ve been exposed to.

There seems to be many negatives associated with this technology and although it seems as if our society is becoming less and less engaged, it would seem they would still want to pick up the remote and change the channel themselves.