By Bob Fine
For a couple of years now, I have been wanting to attend the National Broadcasters Association (NAB) annual show in Las Vegas. Traditionally this show was focused solely on the television broadcast industry. Never having been to it before, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. First, I was overwhelmed by the size of the show. Nearly the same amount of display space as CES, but maybe half the number of attendees. Still, at nearly 100,000 people, it’s a mammoth show.
And the show is focused much more than on just the television industry. It encompasses movie development as well, but more interestingly, it’s catering to those developing video and interactivity for online endeavors. Which brings me to what was the coolest thing I saw at the show.
When I came across the Relay.tv booth, it wasn’t the booth itself, or the display that drew me in, but what was happening on the screens. The social TV space is still in development. I don’t think anyone could say there’s a definitive winner or leading company in the space, except for maybe Twitter, and they were more co-opted into the space by the users than anything else.
But what Relay.tv VP of business development, Franz Elizondo Schmelkes, demonstrated and walked me through left me walking away feeling this was what social TV could and should be like. Instead of relying on the second screen for interacting with friends and the community, it’s all overlaid on your television screen in a very well designed and user friendly interface.
Marketing Director Jenny Wang was kind of enough to walk me through a short demonstration to share online. Being able to watch a show and interact with your friends, while still being focused on the first screen I think is a step in the right direction for the social TV experience. And watch out for the flying rotten tomato.