‘Dragons of Design’ – our day at TV of Tomorrow NYC

This December, we attended the TV of Tomorrow conference in New York City - the global gathering for executives, technologists and creatives working in the Interactive and Multiplatform Television industry/community. The two day conference is also the venue for the presentation of the highly regarded Awards for Leadership in Interactive and Multiplatform Television, presented by [itvt] since 2004.

Date: December 11, 2013

Time: 8AM

Location: New York City

If you truly want to get a sense of how the industry is transforming the digital living room experience, The TV of Tomorrow Show is the place to be. In spite of blizzard-related travel challenges, speakers and attendees were able to make it to the fall/winter edition of the show at the unique 1920’s venue at Sun West Studios in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. For most of the day, I spent my time in the exhibition area in discussion about how social networking, connected TV devices, tablets, smartphones, cloud-based computing, gestural control technologies, and more are impacting the way consumers communicate and control their TVs – and what the landscape of tomorrow’s digital living room will look like. Devices such as our own Dragon TV exemplify how voice and gestural control impact how we use and manage consumer devices.

Attendees included a who’s who of the connected television and second-screen app content community. I saw some great sessions and events including a discussion of how many of the largest cable operators globally are standardizing their high-end set-top/gateway boxes on the RDK architecture (which is very well-suited to support both embedded and connected speech recognition), a Hackathon with a $6K grand prize sponsored by Comcast, NBCUniversal, and zee box, and the “Dragons of Design” Interface Showcase, a contest/exhibition of twelve of the best examples of innovative UI/UX designs for connected TV experiences in 2013.

I may be a bit biased on that last standout panel, as I was a panelist/judge for the Dragons of Design contest. We viewed each of the submissions and then critiqued the user experience of each app for usability, attractiveness, and usefulness. Congrats to the winner, Showtime Networks, for their “SHO Sync Experience” which provides interactive content including polls, trivia and social media on both the first-screen (television, on supported models) and on the  second-screen (smartphone or tablet). The panelists all agreed the application was well-designed, easy to use, and compelling. Runners up were Netflix for their new user experience and Axonista for their ShowPal second screen application.

The day closed with a lively Holiday Cocktail Party with a sunset view from the rooftop lounge where the TVoT NYC 2013 Hackathon was held. A beautiful way to end a day of innovation!

Once again, congratulations to all the interface and Hackathon winners. We look forward to the next TV of Tomorrow Show in San Francisco!


TVoTNYC by Bill Sheppard


Bill Sheppard

About Bill Sheppard

Bill Sheppard, senior manager Dragon TV, is a key contributor to the development and management of Nuance's innovative Dragon TV platform for the digital living room. Bill helps fulfill Nuance's vision of people using natural speech to interact with televisions and other entertainment devices in order to create more productive and satisfying interactive entertainment experiences. In his previous role, Bill was chief digital media officer for the Java Development Group at Oracle/Sun Microsystems, where he led Oracle's interactive television efforts working with cable and satellite operators, movie studios, and consumer electronics vendors resulting in deployment of over 150M Java-based television devices. Bill is a frequent presenter at CES, NAB, Digital Hollywood, and other industry conferences, and served as Director of the Blu-ray Disc Association from 2006-2012. Bill – who is also an Emmy voter, an accomplished trombonist, and holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Iowa State University – lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two daughters, and dog, Biscuit.