Last night I saw a rather interesting commercial promoting the Disney re-release of Bambi. What made it so interesting was the introduction of a technology called Second Screen. As the name implies, your TV is the first screen, and your mobile device (in this case a tablet) the second. In the case of Bambi, your mobile tablet displays extras normally found on a separate disc as the original movie plays on your TV. Toys that have enabled children to interact with the television are nothing new, but I find this particularly exciting as it ties in smart devices like the iPad.
Putting my “how could government use this technology” hat on, I believe Second Screen could be particularly useful during live telecasts such as the State of the Union Address, and even debates between candidates for office. Just think, as the TV centered on a candidate at the podium, your tablet could tell you more about him or her. Or, as pictured below in my quick mockup, the Second Screen could be used to gauge your approval throughout the broadcast, aggregating those results and sending them back to a sponsoring media agency.
Syncing the Second Screen with the first wouldn’t have to rely on watching the broadcast live either. I for one DVR nearly everything these days. Instead, Shazam-like technology (which can tell you the song on the radio in a matter of seconds) could identify where in the program you are to align the two screens. It sounds like science fiction, but it’s not as complex as you may think.
Taking this a step further, you could use your tablet, smartphone or laptop to share what your watching and what you think with friends on Facebook and Twitter to engage others in the program. While I think there’s a larger market out there for Gleeks, government at all levels uses television as a communication medium and could make use of Second Screen technology in the future.
What ideas do you have for Second Screen in government? What other uses or benefits can you imagine from this technology?
Read Last Week’s CB2: GSA, Human Rights, and Nestle Quik