Julian Clover gets a glimpse of screens yet to come at the CTAM EuroSummit in Vienna.
The most fantastic thing about being a futurologist is that you can never be wrong. Actually the same applies to journalists, but for the purposes of this argument we’ll gently gloss over that.
Ben Hammersley arrived at CTAM Europe (Vienna, September 20-21) in his James Bond Autogyro sporting a moustache that will clearly be a fashion trend in years to come.
His views on technology were not to everyone’s taste – not least with the IHS Screen Digest analyst Guy Bisson, who said he represented the complete opposite of everything Hammersley stood for. It mattered not, Hammersley had already got back into his Autogyro and was heading to his next event. His objective in getting the conference talking had been more than fulfilled in getting delegates talking.
The most controversial remark was left to the end with the suggestion that the television as a technological device was a bit rubbish and we’d be better off watching on our iPads. I tried this in the hotel, but sadly the Wi-Fi wasn’t up to it.
Where television scored was in its ability as a social device. I wondered if in 1812 people said a similar thing about the piano.
CTAM also gave us a more immediate piece of the future with a demonstration of the new Horizon platform being rolled out by UPC. Having seen many a demonstration of the user interface and related services it was hard to imagine that there would be such a positive impact.
Many of the delegates had not previously been given the opportunity to see Horizon in action, so there was a genuine excitement among the delegates, which were drawn largely from the marketing community.
And in a way Liberty Global marketing manager Peter Dorr was in agreement with Hammersley when he said that people didn’t have TV sets anymore, but screens.