Television Interactivity: Permanently Breaking the Fourth Wall

A company’s new app represents a bold effort to keep customers’ attention on their TVs while also making a statement about the future of digital media interaction.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What’s the Latest Development?

GetGlue, a kind of entertainment-focused version of Facebook, has recently unveiled a new app that will "bring you the best related content about your favorite shows to the second screen” – the second screen being that iPad or whatever digital device you’re tinkering with while the first screen, your TV, is on. The company hopes that, instead of playing Angry Birds Space while the referees debate a call, you’ll use its app to get more information about your favorite shows, follow up on its suggestions for new shows you might enjoy, and chat with your fellow TV-watchers, wherever they may be.

What’s the Big Idea?

Writer Kit Eaton believes that GetGlue is one of several current and future products designed to take advantage of our shortened attention spans and ever-increasing hunger for more content. Television will no longer be “a one-way window into another world you can't touch anymore. It'll be a discovery engine, a way to learn facts, interact with the world, talk to people, find new and surprising content to absorb.” In other words, we’re getting closer to the day when size will be the only thing separating the screen on your living room wall from the screen in your hand.

Photo Credit:

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Watch: The first AI-scripted commercial is here, and it’s surprisingly good

A new AI-produced commercial from Lexus shows how AI might be particularly suited for the advertising industry.

Technology & Innovation
  • The commercial was written by IBM's Watson. It was acted and directed by humans.
  • Lexus says humans played a minimal part in influencing Watson, in terms of the writing.
  • Advertising, with its clearly defined goals and troves of data, seems like one creative field in which AI would prove particularly useful.
Keep reading Show less

A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Keep reading Show less

Who believes fake news? Study identifies 3 groups of people

Then again, maybe the study is fake news too.

Surprising Science
  • Recent research challenged study participants to pick real news headlines from fake ones.
  • The results showed that people prone to delusional thinking, religious fundamentalists, and dogmatists tended to believe all news, regardless of plausibility.
  • What can you do to protect yourself and others from fake news?
Keep reading Show less