The Screenius Blog
Beautiful New York City.
The iPad opened my eyes. When I got lucky and won an early iPad at a convention, I quickly realized I was holding in my hands the future. Not so much the future of computing, as the future of television; not TV as defined by today’s commercial broadcast and cable networks, but TV in the simpler sense of personal video infotainment. Walking around my garden holding an uninterrupted streaming movie was a delight comparable to when I first got my large flat screen HDTV.
Our small but mighty team started working to convert the iPad into a portable TV fueled by open online video. We wanted a TV-like interface, where something was always on, where one show followed another without having to click or type to launch a video, and where we automatically skipped over videos the iPad could not handle (encoded in Adobe Flash). To change a ‘channel’ all you did was swipe. We built all that. And it was cool.
We realized that the TV of the future would not just be portable and open but also highly personalized. It should identify who you are (without requiring a logon) and it should know what you like to watch. Could we learn your just taste from your viewing behavior? And could we do it in a way that guaranteed your privacy (what you watch is nobody’s business but your own, unless you want to make it public)? We could. And that was even more cool.
We now had a personal, portable TV-like experience fueled by open and infinite online video. This was Pandora for video but without their overhead and costs – everything was self-contained in a mobile app.
At this point we gave it to testers, who said, ‘That’s okay, but it’s not enough. [Blew us away, but true.] You need to make the interface more interactive and more engaging.’ What I had failed to foresee is how much consumers enjoy opportunities to touch the screen and do not want a passive TV-like experience. Turns out, iPad customers just want to have fun. And they are not alone.
We went back to the drawing board. Discovering videos you enjoy and want to share should feel more like a game than work (Search anyone?). How could we make our user interface exciting and fun? Without expecting to, we found ourselves a video-based social gaming company. As far as we know, this is virgin territory. And this is way cool.
So what is Screenius? Screenius is personal video infotainment that is effortless, open, and fun, and coming (soon) to your favorite mobile touchscreen.