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Posts de maio \31\UTC 2010
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Back in January, I wrote a post entitled An iPhone Lover’s Take On The Nexus One. At the time, the Nexus One was soon to be released as the latest and greatest Android phone, and a number of iPhone users were wondering whether it was worth it to switch for the benefits of Android (and perhaps more importantly, another network besides AT&T). My take: it was the best Android phone yet, but it wasn’t better than the iPhone. Now I’m going to do the same type of review for the new HTC EVO 4G phone, which Sprint is launching next week.
At Google I/O, the search giant gave the phone away to every attendee complete with one month of service to try it out. Just as with the Nexus One, I’ve decided to use it as my primary phone for the past week or so to get a real sense of the pluses and minuses of the device. Just as with my Nexus One review, this isn’t meant to be an all-encompassing review or roundup (for that, see here or here or here). Instead, this is just my reaction to the device as an iPhone user.
So, I’ll start off with what you really want to know: is the EVO 4G an “iPhone Killer“? No way. Not even close. Does it have some advantages over the iPhone? Of course. But it has more disadvantages. And, in fact, this isn’t even the best Android phone I’ve tried. Both the Nexus One and the Droid Incredible are better. If you want details about some of that, read on.
Let me lead with a big caveat: I haven’t been using this thing on an actual 4G network. Sadly, neither San Francisco or New York City (the two cities I’ve used the device in) have Sprint 4G yet (both should get it later this year). That said, as just about every other reviewer has pointed out, the 4G is almost more of a detriment to the device because while it does offer faster download speeds, they’re not that much faster than 3G — and 4G usage destroys the battery life of the device worse than even 3G does. Also, I have used Sprint’s 4G network before, in Austin, Texas, and I can confirm that it is faster but not that much faster that I would consider it a killer feature at this point. Hopefully that will change as the network matures.
And let’s start with the battery. Simply put: it sucks. Again, I’m not using the 4G network (and yes, I have the 4G radio turned off), and it absolutely blows. My iPhone 3GS is about a year old now, so its battery isn’t at the peak condition that it once was. Still, it almost always lasts me for at least a full day doing what I would consider to be moderate usage of the web, texting, taking pictures, etc. The EVO? Good luck getting more than 4 hours of moderate usage out of this bad boy.
It’s almost unfathomable how bad the battery is in this thing. Why? Well you might assume it’s the massive 4.3 inch LCD screen. But according to the Battery usage area in the Setting menu on Android, the display is only eating up 5% of my battery on average. Instead, it’s “Cell standby” (again, I have 4G off), “Phone idle,” and “Android system” that eat up over 75% of the life. Am I doing anything odd that makes it drain faster than an average user would? I don’t think so, and talking with others who have the device, all report the same awful battery performance. I have no doubt that “regular” users are going to bitch about this as well.
I’m terrified to think what this thing would be like if I were using 4G. A mobile phone that lasts for 2-3 hours? Ugh.
Speaking of the massive screen, there’s no denying that it’s beautiful. Rather than using the same OLED screen that the Nexus One uses (which you can barely see in daylight), this uses a standard TFT display, so it’s easy to see at all times. The 480×800 resolution is great, and everything looks crisp. That said, this (and the HTC HD2 — the WinMo phone with the same size screen) proves that bigger isn’t always better.
The screen is too big. Or maybe a better way of saying it is that the screen makes the device too big. Mat Buchanan of Gizmodo has called this the “Escalade of smartphones,” and it’s a perfect moniker. For people with huge hands, and huge pockets, this thing will be great. For everyone else, I have little doubt they’ll find this too big. There’s a reason many smartphones tend to hover around the same 3.5 inch screen (iPhone, Nexus One, etc): it works.
The camera on the EVO is great. And there are actually two of them. The one in the back is 8 megapixels and destroys the iPhone’s 3 megapixel camera. The front one is a lower resolution (1.3 megapixels), but is convenient for vanity pictures and video chatting if that’s your thing. The back camera also can take 720p HD video, which again destroys the iPhone (there’s some debate as to just how good the “HD” bit-rate quality is — to me, a novice, it looked very nice).
Of course, the new iPhone is expected to be unveiled in just about a week. And it too is likely to have two cameras (one front and one back). I doubt the back one will be 8 megapixels, but it should get a boost to 5 megapixels. And the front one will undoubtedly be fine-tuned for video chatting as well. And the rumor is that it will take HD quality video as well.
Meanwhile, the photo-taking software on Android continues to lag behind the iPhone’s. And I do mean lag — often times it would take up to a minute for the controls to show up onscreen. And oddly, they can only be oriented to take pictures in landscape mode. And it’s far too many clicks to switch between the front and rear cameras (this is buried in the camera settings area). But all of that is somewhat excusable – what’s not is that more than half the time while trying to take a picture, I would get the message “Unable to save file to SD card due to insufficient file permissions.” I have no idea what that means, nor did I care enough to figure it out. Nor will most users when they get the same message. It worked sometimes, and sometimes it didn’t. I’ve never had this problem with the iPhone — nor is it possible since there is no SD card slot.
The photo browsing element of the EVO, meanwhile, is better than other Android phones I’ve used. But it’s still not nearly as good as the iPhone.
The EVO has a pretty good flash — something the current iPhone doesn’t (but again, the next one likely will). But it’s pretty poor compared to a regular camera flash. Point is, if you’re buying this thing to get a good camera, you should probably just invest in a good camera.
The exterior of the EVO is pretty nice. As I said, I prefer the size of the Nexus One (and iPhone), but the EVO feels just as solid (unlike many other Android phones). Taking off the back to access the battery is a bit wonky. The entire back faceplate is removable, but each time I did it, I was sure I was going to snap off one of the clips that holds it in place. I was also sure I was going to snap off my fingernail at one point (which they suggest you use to open it up — brilliant).
There’s also this rather odd kick-stand on the back of the EVO. Presumably, it’s to make watching media on the huge screen more appealing (so you don’t have to hold the big, heavy thing). It’s also probably good for video chatting. But it’s a gimmick at best. And my colleague Jason Kincaid actually almost broke it off when he thought that was the way you get to the battery.
Unlike the Nexus One, the EVO has no trackball. I think that’s a good thing. Some people seem to like it (I assume ex-BlackBerry users), but I never understood the point of having it on a touchscreen device. Good riddance.
My biggest gripe about the exterior though has to be the top on/off button. It lays way too flush against the actual top of the device itself, making it very hard to click. I endured much frustration when I would pull the thing out of my pocket and would try to turn it on quickly. Sometimes I was hitting the button, sometimes I was hitting nothing — and it was hard to tell.
All the other problems aside, the software may be what really kills the device — for now, at least. The EVO out-of-the-box runs Android 2.1 with the HTC Sense UI. Android 2.1 is far too slow. Even running on these devices with 1 GHz chips, there’s noticeable lag when doing things such as simply scrolling through your apps. It’s unacceptable.
The good news is that Android 2.2 mostly fixes this. I have been using 2.2 running on the Nexus One, and it’s much, much better. The bad news is that it’s not yet clear when 2.2 will come to the EVO because HTC has to update Sense to work with it.
Speaking of Sense, some people love it. I do not. While I find Android’s standard UI to be a bit bland, Sense is almost too much of the opposite — it’s garish. It also takes up way too much screen real estate with things such as the default time/weather widget. Do I really need the time taking up half of the main screen? No. I want apps there. Luckily, it’s easy enough to delete those default widgets.
The EVO does come with some pretty nice ways to integrate your Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr accounts when you set it up. And then you can easily see friends’ activity from the nice Friend Stream widget they provide. Sadly, this widget loads way too slowly. I also like the Twitter widget they give you. It’s a very simple way to update your Twitter status without even launching a client.
HTC also has a brilliant pinch-to-zoom mechanism to access each of your 7 main Android screens. In fact, it’s exactly like the Expose feature in OS X. You pinch on the EVO (or if you’re on the main screen, hit the home button) and the screen you’re on zooms out to reveal thumbnails of all of the screen you have, and shows what’s on each of them. Apple should consider copying this for the iPhone because it’s much better than the current scroll from page to page method.
The worst part of the software though is the keyboard. It’s laughably cluttered. The soft keyboard built into Android is bad enough — mainly because it lags (which again, Android 2.2 fixes). This Sense one is much, much worse. It’s set up in a way so that you can access things such as numbers on the top row of keys, but you have to hold them down to do so. And actually, numbers are also found if you hit the “12#” button at the bottom of the keyboard. It’s redundant and confusing.
And the cursor movement keys at the very button of the keyboard are one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. Again, this is a touchscreen device, why do I need touchscreen soft keys to move around whatever I’m writing? Just touch where you want to go.
Okay, I’ve been fairly hard on the device so far. But there is one thing that despite all its problems, would make me consider it: the WiFi hot spot feature. It’s hard to explain how awesome this is. But there are a few big catches.
I’ve tested out a Sprint Overdrive (mobile hotspot creator) before, and it’s great. But it’s also yet another device you have to carry around, and it’s somewhat of a pain to boot up, get connected to the service, etc. The EVO is like an Overdrive that you’re going to have on you at all times. And turning it on is one touch of a widget on the screen. This creates a new WiFi hotspot that up to 8 people can connect to. You can set the password right from the included software.
The other day, I was in a cafe in New York City but only had one hour of free Internet access. When I ran out, I turned on the EVO Hotspot and was up and running again in seconds. And it was fast (again, even without 4G).
Yes, the battery issue remains — this thing may work for a couple of hours as a hotspot, maybe less — but there is no disputing the ease-of-use.
Mobile hotspot creation is being built-in to Android 2.2, but it will be up to the carriers to decide how they use it (meaning, they decide whether or not to turn it on, and how much to charge for it, if so). This Sprint version is different (it’s not the built-in Android version) — and right, now entirely free. But that is expected to change following the actual launch. Reports indicate that Sprint will offer the Hotspot feature for free through July, but only to those on 4G networks. After that (and for other users) it will cost an extra $30 or so a month, apparently.
That’s a buzzkill.
Of course, next to the iPhone, which still doesn’t have any tethering option in the U.S. thanks to AT&T’s inability to maintain their network, this is still a great feature.
So, that a lot of words about what, as an iPhone user, I like and don’t like about the EVO 4G. Would I give up my iPhone for this? Not a chance. Hell, I wouldn’t give up a Nexus One or Droid Incredible for this, even with 4G. The battery life is simply too poor, and the whole device is too large.
The Android software continues to make steady improvements, but Sense, in my opinion, doesn’t help it at all. Instead, Android 2.2 is the thing to get, and that won’t be available on the EVO at launch.
The EVO has many of the strengths of the Nexus One — mainly, the way Google services interact with the phone (Google Voice, Gmail, Maps, etc), but it adds a bunch of weaknesses.
If you’re a fed-up iPhone user looking to switch to an Android device, there are better options. If you’re a happy iPhone user that is interested in Android devices, you probably won’t like this one much at all.
And no matter what camp you’re in, if you do buy this thing now, you’ll probably be kicking yourself in a couple of months as better 4G devices hit. Or you’ll be kicking yourself in a couple of months when better Android devices hit. Or you’ll be kicking yourself in a few weeks when the new iPhone HD (or whatever it will be called) hits.
Forgive me, but: this is probably not the Android device you’re looking for.
Update: A few commenters noted I should try out one of the task-killing apps to improve battery life. It’s pretty ridiculous that I might have to install a third-party app to manage the system, but whatever, I gave it a try. The result? Two things.
1) Yes, the battery life is slightly better, but still unacceptable. For example, I left the device on overnight with the screen off (just as I normally do with the iPhone), with just two apps running (Twitter and Gowalla) and it was completely dead less than 6 hours later.
2) How many regular users are actually going to install a task managing app? I don’t mean early adopters, I mean people who are average consumers. I bet hardly any will. And I suspect those who buy the EVO will start bitching out the battery almost immediately.
Further, here’s an update from Mike, who also has an EVO now. Remember, this is iPhone-quitting, Android-loving Mike. “I went on a bus today with a fully charged battery on evo, took it off the charger. Three hours later after using it the whole time, but no calls, it was just about done.” Also, there are no shortage of complaints here.
Em janeiro deste ano a empresa Gartner (www.gartner.com) divulgou a sua visão geral sobre os principais vendedores de software que devem ser considerados pelas organizações que estiverem buscando desenvolver aplicações de Business Intelligence- BI. .
Esta é a introdução da newsletter desta semana da Creativante, que você pode acessar aqui!
O Asian Development Outlook 2010 saiu mês passado. O link é este!
Books, Periodicals, Studies, and Reports
Asian Development Outlook 2010: Macroeconomic Management Beyond the Crisis
The annual Asian Development Outlook provides a comprehensive analysis of economic performance for the past year and offers forecasts for the next 2 years for the 45 Asian economies that make up developing Asia.
This edition sees developing Asia emerging from the recent crisis and posting a strong recovery in the next 2 years, as a moderate global recovery supports a modest revival in global trade. Investment is expected to remain strong and private consumption is anticipated to improve. Inflation will pick up, but at manageable levels.
Beyond the crisis, developing Asia faces the challenge of adjusting its monetary, exchange rate, and fiscal policies to foster macroeconomic stability and sustained growth within the broader direction of a return to prudence and discipline.
Novo relatório do Asian Development Bank-ADB!
18 May 2010
Emerging Asia Should Be Ready to Act on Potentially Destabilizing Capital Inflows – ADB Report
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Governments in emerging Asia should stay on guard and be ready to act if volatile capital inflows threaten to destabilize the region’s financial markets, says a new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Emerging Asia’s capital markets have posted rapid gains as economic recovery in the region has gathered pace, drawing massive investment from overseas. The impact of the escalating debt problems in Europe has been limited. However, economies and markets face a number of other risks with inflation, though manageable, edging up and as governments prepare exits from economic stimulus packages.
The Asia Capital Markets Monitor, ADB’s annual assessment of the performance and outlook for the region’s equity, bond and currency markets, said managing the hefty capital inflows into the region’s markets is the key challenge.
Foreign investors have rushed back into emerging Asian markets, attracted by the region’s swift recovery from the global crisis, a return of risk appetite and very low returns on assets in developed economies.
“While the return of capital flows is welcome, surges in short-term capital inflows could potentially leave countries vulnerable to a sudden reversal in portfolio investment and to sharp currency movements,” said Srinivasa Madhur, Senior Director of ADB’s Office of Regional Economic Integration which prepared the report.
“More broadly, the region is holding up well in the face of the debt crisis in Greece and its potential contagion effect,” he added.
Emerging Asian equities yielded a 73% return in US dollar terms in 2009 while local currency bond issuance of $3.69 trillion was 41.4% higher than in 2008. The hefty investment from overseas has put significant upward pressure on the region’s currencies.
Despite favorable cyclical developments, the strong performance of emerging Asian equities in 2009 limits the room for further gains, the report said. The yield curve in local government bonds has already steepened and that may continue on rising inflationary expectations and as monetary authorities increase official interest rates.
Emerging Asian currencies have strengthened to varying degrees against the US dollar. Appreciation pressures are likely to intensify as capital inflows continue, which may fuel volatility in some currencies.
The report said recent surges in capital inflows have been driven by portfolio equity flows as investors take advantage of widening earnings potential between emerging Asian and mature markets.
The use of capital controls may be appropriate in circumstances where capital inflows are transitory and are adding undue pressure on exchange rates and where effectiveness of macroeconomic policy measures to counter the inflows and the exchange rate movements is uncertain.
“Managing capital flows requires a wide array of policy measures; sound macroeconomic management, a flexible exchange rate regime, a resilient financial system and sometimes the use of temporary and targeted capital controls,” Mr. Madhur said.
The Asia Capital Markets Monitor covers eleven economies of emerging Asia; the People’s Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; India; Indonesia; the Republic of Korea; Malaysia; the Philippines; Singapore; Taipei,China; Thailand; and Viet Nam.
Sala de Debate da revista Businessweek/Bloomberg!
Sure, people love their iPhones, iPads, and Androids, but it’s the apps that give them their value and utility. Pro or con?
Pro: Where the Real Excitement Is
by Shahar Kaminitz, WorkLight
It’s all about the apps. If you own a smartphone, you’ve got the world at your fingertips. Mobile devices such as the iPhone (AAPL) have changed the way we manage our lives. Yet the single most important factor in the growth of smartphones is the proliferation of apps they enable.
Sure, the iPhone’s and Android’s (GOOG) high-quality touch screens, built-in GPS, and accelerometers are engaging, but hardware continues, with better components, to evolve constantly over time. This is not enough to explain the boom. Mobile devices have come and gone, and even now devices more advanced than the iPhone attract less attention because they fail to put apps front and center.
Software—or more specifically, an enabled eco-system of software developers who write great applications—is the key. These developers push the envelope of what is possible and in turn drive the next generation of devices needed to support successful apps. Hardware evolution is a result of the software requirements, not the other way around.
Smartphone apps now make it possible for people to go beyond the Web to get things done. Businesses are taking note of this and making apps a priority, as smartphone-toting customers may not sit down at their computers for days. Making them happy requires that businesses reach them using apps available on any device.
Apps, not hardware, deliver the products, services, and marketing messages that customers want and that businesses need to ensure their success in an increasingly mobile world.
Con: Total User Experience
by Jakob Nielsen, Nielsen Norman Group
A mobile app can be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it won’t get used unless it’s part of an integrated user experience hosted by the device. We recently conducted a broad usability study of 34 iPad applications. Many of them looked great and worked just fine on an individual basis. But people don’t use apps on a standalone basis. They use apps as part of a totality, composed of the device, the wireless connectivity, and all the other apps they’ve downloaded.
iPad apps have wacky user interfaces that go any which way without much consistency. The rules change every time users shift to another app—something they do often. In our user testing, many iPad apps scored poorly because the device lacks an overall coherent user interface.
In a different study, we found that most iPhone users have several screenfuls of apps they either never use or have used only once or twice. The download stats for these apps may be impressive, but they fail to build a strong total user experience for the phone.
The first two generations of iPhone competitors were blatant failures because of the poor usability created by their uncoordinated total user experience. It’s not enough to have a nice touch screen or an app store. The integration of hardware, user interface, and apps functionality has to come together to form a supportive whole.
Anything mobile will inherently be small and weak compared with the power of a “full” computer. The way to overcome these deficiencies is with a tight design, where everything works just right. To achieve this goal requires a great device with strong user-interface standards. Individual apps can succeed only by fitting with the platform.
Opinions and conclusions expressed in the Bloomberg BusinessWeek Debate Room do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg BusinessWeek, BusinessWeek.com, or Bloomberg LP.
Matéria interessante que saiu na nova The Economist.!
IT in Taiwan and China
Taiwan’s tech firms are conquering the world—and turning Chinese
May 27th 2010 | From The Economist print edition
WHICH is the world’s most important technology trade show? Gadget freaks will insist on CES in Las Vegas. Old hands are likely to pick CeBIT in Hanover, Germany. But the cognoscenti argue that nowadays Computex in Taipei, which celebrates its 30th anniversary next week, rules the roost.
Taiwan is now the home of many of the world’s largest makers of computers and associated hardware. Its firms produce more than 50% of all chips, nearly 70% of computer displays and more than 90% of all portable computers. The most successful are no longer huge but little-known contract manufacturers, such as Quanta or Hon Hai, in the news this week because of workers’ suicides (see article). Acer, for example, surpassed Dell last year to become the world’s second-biggest maker of personal computers. HTC, which started out making smart-phones for big Western brands, is now launching prominent products of its own.
Much of the credit for the growth of Taiwan’s information technology (IT) industry goes to the state, notably the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). Founded in 1973, ITRI did not just import technology and invest in R&D, but also trained engineers and spawned start-ups: thus Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), now the world’s biggest chip “foundry”, was born. ITRI also developed prototypes of computers and handed the blueprints to private firms.
Taiwan’s history also helps make it the “best place in the world to turn ideas into physical form,” says Derek Lidow of iSuppli, a market-research firm. Japan colonised the island for half a century, leaving a good education system. Amid the turmoil of the Kuomintang’s retreat to Taiwan from mainland China, engineering was encouraged as a useful and politically uncontroversial discipline. Meanwhile, strong geopolitical ties with America helped foster educational and commercial links too. Western tech firms set up shop in Taiwan in the 1960s, increasing the pool of skilled workers and suppliers.
Today Hsinchu Science and Industrial Park, the hub of Taiwan’s IT industry, is home to about 400 high-tech companies, chief among them TSMC with its huge “fabs”. Bigger than aeroplane hangars, these can cost more than $10 billion a pop and churn out three billion chips a year. Dozens of “fabless” chip firms, in turn, provide the designs. The most successful is MediaTek, whose chips power most of the mobile phones made in China.
Computex includes stands where Acer and Asustek, another local computer-maker, display their latest wares. But it is not so much an IT exhibition as a mall for computer parts. Memory chips, motherboards, disk drives, fans, connectors, casings: each component has its own neighbourhood of booths. The heart of the Taiwanese IT industry is a network of hundreds of small specialised firms that make these things, overnight if need be.
This strength, however, is also Taiwan’s weakness. Most firms are junior partners in the world’s IT supply chains, making things others have developed. They are good at incremental innovation, mostly related to manufacturing (firms from only three other countries have filed more patents in America than Taiwanese ones over the past decade). But many of them are stuck in a “commodity trap”, cautions Dieter Ernst of the East-West Centre, a think-tank in Honolulu. Profit margins, he says, are razor-thin and do not allow adequate investment in R&D and branding. The Taiwanese industry is particularly weak where the most valuable intellectual property is created these days: in software, services and systems. As a result, Taiwan has a huge deficit in technological trade. Its firms are often sued by Western ones for patent infringements. In March, for instance, Apple filed a complaint against HTC.
What is more, under pressure from their customers, Taiwanese computer-makers have moved most of their production to cheaper countries, mainly China. Yet China is becoming a force in its own right in high-tech innovation and is itself fostering IT giants, such as the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), another foundry.
But Taiwan is adapting. ITRI now puts more emphasis on intellectual property, services and design, says Johnsee Lee, its president. It applies for five patents a day on average and licenses them mostly to local firms, not least so they can use them as currency to negotiate settlements in lawsuits. It has started a “Creativity Lab” where engineers work alongside artists, writers and psychologists to come up with more than just new hardware.
The big Taiwanese companies are improving the quality of their patent filings, says Shin-Horng Chen of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, and launching infringement suits of their own, as HTC has done. Some are trying to move up the value chain or into new markets. Acer and HTC are trying to become global brands. TSMC is said to have ambitions in solar panels and light-emitting diodes. Taiwanese firms have also proved that they can adapt existing technology cleverly to come up with new products. Asustek, for example, pioneered netbooks (no-frills laptops); Acer’s success rests in part on innovative distribution.
When it comes to IT, at least, relations with China are improving. The Chinese government has recruited Taiwanese firms to help it set technical standards. Taiwan, for its part, recently eased restrictions on outbound investments, which it had imposed to limit the transfer of technology to China. TSMC, for instance, has been allowed to take an 8% stake in SMIC.
It is hard to see China dethroning Taiwan as manager of the world’s electronics factories soon, says Peter Sher of the National Chi Nan University. But the IT industry in the two countries will increasingly become intertwined, predicts Mr Ernst. “Especially in IT, Taiwan is becoming more and more part of the Chinese economy,” he says. Indeed, some tech types already fuse the pair into “Chaiwan”.
A revista Businessweek (hoje da Bloomberg) acaba de editar o seu Bloomberg Businessweek Tech 100, seu relatório especial sobre as 100 mais inovadoras empresas do mundo.
Para acessar o relatório basta clicar aqui! O interessante deste relatório é a quantidade de empresas asiáticas incluidas na lista. Até mesmo o primeiro lugar é de uma empresa chinesa! Vale a pena ver!
Post de hoje do http://www.businessweek.com!
Advertisers Give Google TV a Warm Reception
May 24, 2010, 1:12AM EST
Google’s interactive TV platform might lower costs and improve the targeting of ad spots. Could ‘smart’ TV redefine advertising?
By Olga Kharif
Say you’re watching TV and an ad for Chevy’s Silverado pickup catches your eye. Come this fall, viewers using Google’s new interactive television technology will be able to type the object of their desire into an onscreen search box and launch a YouTube GOOG video or surf over to Chevy’s (FIATY) website.
Advertisers foresee a new medium to get their message to consumers. “Google is going to revolutionize the way we use media,” says Shattuck Groome, president of New York ad agency Gotham Direct Interactive, which buys TV ads for brands that include M&M‘s candy and Zappos.com (AMZN). “It’s the future of advertising.”
Gotham Direct already buys TV ads for clients through a prior initiative called Google TV Ads, an online marketplace where advertisers can upload video spots and place them on more than a dozen networks, including ABC Family (DIS), through services from the DISH Network (DISH) and TiVo (TIVO). Groome says he’s looking forward to being able to measure precisely who is viewing the ads Gotham creates—and to pay only for ads that viewers actually watch.
Google announced its plans for “smart” TVs at its Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco on May 20. Google software will put Web content on televisions and will work with Intel (INTC) chips in TVs from Sony (SNE) and a set-top box from Logitech International (LOGI) that will allow Google TV to run on generic sets. Using Google TV, viewers will be able to search for Web programming through an onscreen search box that presents the results on their TV screens.
Big savings for Advertisers?
Advertisers say Google TV will let them reach TV viewers faster, more cheaply, and more effectively than via traditional TV spots. With Google, advertisers will know exactly who viewed their ad, how many people clicked on it, and how many people chose to use a “click-to-call” feature to contact advertisers immediately.
The platform could make TV advertising more affordable, too. Today advertisers pay thousands or even millions of dollars per spot to push fast food, cars, and beer. But an online video ad costs about only $30 per 1,000 viewings, according to the Diffusion Group, a market researcher. Jeroen Coppelmans, vice-president for the Americas at Spotzer Media, which produces video ads for small businesses, says that “someone with a budget of a couple of dollars a day could do TV advertising.”
Google hopes Google TV will help it create revenue streams in addition to that from ads linked to searches conducted by computer users on PC Web browsers. Those ads contributed the bulk of the company’s $23.7 billion in 2009 revenues. TV advertising in the U.S. accounted for $83 billion in spending last year, according to the Diffusion Group. If Google were able to grab even a small chunk of it, the company would tap a lucrative source of revenue.
smartphone-like remote controls
Google TV brings the company’s familiar search box into the living room. The company describes the technology as creating an “entertainment hub” that lets viewers search channels, record shows, and find websites. “Many times, I see an interesting commercial and can’t do anything with it,” Rishi Chandra, a Google senior product manager, said at Google I/O. He added in an interview: “Now your TV advertising becomes interactive …. Every advertiser has a website.”
At first, advertisers won’t know whether the ads they buy through Google’s advertising network are being viewed on PCs or on TVs. Google plans to let advertisers tailor messages for Google TV viewers, however. “We are looking at ways for advertisers to target specific devices,” says Chandra. To facilitate typing, he says, manufacturers are working on remote controls that might resemble smartphone keyboards.
Although TV, cable, and technology companies have been pushing the idea of interactive TV since the early 1990s, the concept hasn’t taken off. Among Google competitors pursuing interactive TV are Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Yahoo! (YHOO), and Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), which bought online movie rental service Vudu on Feb. 22. Nearly half of the flat-panel TVs sold in 2013 will be Web-enabled, up from 19 percent this year, according to consultant ABI Research.
Do consumers want full TV Web access?
Yahoo may roll out a TV advertising program in the coming months, says Russ Schafer, a senior director of marketing at the company. Yahoo’s Connected TV service, which was launched last year and lets users stream movies online from Amazon.com and Blockbuster (BBI), is available on more than 2.5 million devices from Sony, Vizio, Samsung, and LG Electronics. Yahoo recently demonstrated the ability to show TV viewers a Macy’s (M) ad and let them forward a related coupon to a cell phone.
Wal-Mart’s Vudu service may offer advertising capabilities in the future as its audience expands, says Executive Vice-President Edward Lichty.
Microsoft’s Mediaroom service lets telcos, including AT&T (T) and Deutsche Telekom (DT), offer access to such websites as Facebook on subscribers’ TV screens. Ben Huang, Microsoft marketing director, says consumers may not want full Internet access on their TVs, as Google is proposing. “If the point is to allow open Web surfing on a TV, I’m not sure that’s what the consumer wants,” he says.
from cable companies: Canoe Ventures
Cable companies stand to lose most if Google TV takes off. “There’s been enormous frustration among ad agencies about what they can do with the television platform,” says Bill Niemeyer, a senior analyst at Diffusion Group. Interactive TV ads “could be a $10 billion to $20 billion industry over the course of the decade,” he says. Much of that money may come out of advertisers’ TV budgets, he says.
Comcast and other operators have formed Canoe Ventures, which has developed set-top box software that makes TV ads’ effectiveness easier to measure. An overlay on customers’ TV screens lets them request direct mail or coupons by pressing a button on their remote. On May 17, Canoe announced that Comcast, Discovery Communications (DISCA), NBC Universal, and Rainbow Media plan to launch the technology in this quarter.
Advertisers face a number of options to combine TV’s reach with the Web’s precision. Still, interactive TV is seeded with wild cards, including questions about how aggressively TV manufacturers will buy into it and how hard it is to predict consumer tastes. “It’s too early to tell,” says Darren Herman, chief digital media officer at ad agency Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners, whose clients include Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Victoria’s Secret. “All these folks are currently wearing diapers.”
Kharif is a reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek in Portland, Ore.
Foi publicado nosso artigo/capítulo no novo livro intitulado “Enterprise Information System Design, Implementation and Management“. O link para o resumo do capítulo (cujo título é INMATE: Innovation Management Technique) pode ler acessado aqui!