Project Canoe seeks to make Cable / TV from a Passive medium to an Active one

About two months ago I attended a Canoe, dinner with Arthur Orduna at NYU Torch Club, not by design, I just happened to be at the Torch Club and the dinner happened; at that point I thought Canoe was still a colonge.

But then I realised Canoe was a new technology platform for Cable providers to collect data from you and provide services in return – still – what was described by Arthur Orduna appeared to me  rather vague.

However, today Canoe Ventures admits it  Wants Your Data, according to NewTeeVee.

Canoe wants to bring more features to television from your remote control, focused on interactivity and addressablity. Verklin says, this isn’t just about the ads but about the programming. For example, he said, Canoe is going to add voting and polling where consumers can vote on their favorite player during a football game or on American Idol. Cable also wants to add a feature called request for information, that allows you to watch Emeril Live and click a button to get a recipe via email or text or perhaps get a catalogue via mail after seeing it on TV.

The third product is “t-commerce,” where you can buy from the television and be charged on your cable bill  or credit card. It’s easier than phone calls or filling out forms online, according to Verklin. Fourth is telescoping, where you can click through on a movie and and see a whole trailer, or click through on a video game ad and see a demo. The final product is addressibility — ads targeted to you. No more dog food ads if you don’t own a dog. But a question consumers need to ask is, “Do I really want my cable company knowing that much about me?

“Data is the new creative,” Verklin said.

But I question if viewers will really spend the time to interact with their cable show at that level – after all, they can do most of all the interacting they want on the Web.   Attempts to make TV, for example, into a Web Device, never really took hold; WebTV was never that popular.

Conceptually, the idea of taking polls on charcters from the programming we’re watching sounds pretty good, and much as text messaging took off, Project Canoe is hoping it might as well.

But TV sets are not mobile devices … I’m not sure, at the end of the day, if Project Canoe is going to be a winner, or not.

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One thought on “Project Canoe seeks to make Cable / TV from a Passive medium to an Active one”

  1. But you’re also assuming this is device-centric. Ten years ago, would you have believed that people would want to use a mobile phone to take pictures, email people or watch video? if you get the user experience right (admittedly, a big if), then I’m not sure device matters. Once you like interacting, then you want to interact a lot.

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