Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal recently named the winners of the 2007 Technology Innovation awards in a number of different categories, including the environment, medical devices, semiconductors and media/broadcasting. While many people think of small, nimble start-ups when it comes to technological innovation, a number of global giants -- including Xerox, Schering-Plough, Abbot Laboratories, Novartis, LG Electronics and Siemens -- also won awards.
One of the more interesting companies was Joost, which was awarded the Bronze prize for its free online video service that delivers full-length, full-screen TV programming over the Internet. The service launched in May, and already offers free, advertiser-supported programming from MTV, VH1, CNN and Warner Bros. So what does Joost offer that sites like Google's YouTube do not? According to Barry Jaruzelski, VP and lead marketing officer at Booz Allen Hamilton, the allure of Joost is its "full-screen service." I think there's more to this story than that -- like the social networking features embedded within Joost. The idea is that you can live-chat and instant-message your friends while watching TV.
In various talks that I've had about the future of online video, the name Joost continually comes up, but since the service is based in Europe (Luxembourg), I don't think it has gotten the same exposure within the U.S. that it might deserve. Let's hope that the Wall Street Journal's Technology Innovation Award changes that!
[image: Joost TV by Andrea Vascellari on Flickr]