Plus 1

Ideas January 23, 2012 9:39 am


As I previously mentioned, I’m without my #1 plus one for the next few months.  But thanks to the beauty of something called the Internet and Skype, we can still see each other every day via our computer screens.

And we’ve talked about watching our favorite TV show, Breaking Bad, separately and discussing the latest episode later when we talk.

Which got me thinking about Google+ and its ‘Hangout’ feature.  The Google+ Hangout allows up to 10 people to video chat and text chat with each other on their computers and phones.  Users can also watch a YouTube video together, and Google is currently testing the ability to watch live video streaming together via YouTube.

But what about taking it a step further and adding Google+ Hangout capabilities to live TV viewing?

Think about it:

Google TV is connected to the Internet, so the same technology that powers Hangout chats (at least text chats) on your computer is already there.  Video chat capability might not be inherent in Google TV, but how hard would it be to connect a webcam to your Internet connected TV or (idealistically) convince a manufacturer to add video capabilities similar to built in video capabilities on your computer?

Google TV is like regular TV, offering live programming. And Google TV has a picture- within- a-picture capability, meaning there is already a place for your video screen to appear within the larger context of what you’re watching.

Social is a huge topic of conversation right now, and it’s pretty obvious that people talk about their favorite TV shows on social networks.

Google could create a slam dunk by combining the capabilities of Google + Hangouts- CHATTING- with Google TV’s live programming and picture-within-a-picture-A SPOT FOR YOUR CHAT TO SHOW ON-SCREEN-with the ever increasing attention to the SOCIAL NATURE of TV viewing to create, for lack of better imagination, ‘Google+ TV.’

My first inclination would be to say ‘Google+ TV’ is perfect for live sports and award shows, because major sporting events and award shows tend to be very social viewing events.

Situation: your friends are scattered around the country, but y’all always talk about about the big game/your favorite show via gchat and text… with ‘Google + TV’, everyone could join the Hangout on their TV and seamlessly chat about the game/award show while watching.

Brands could join the conversation by being available to chat with consumers- brands could sponsor a chat between the popular stars of a show/game and fans, or brands could use the Hangout/Live TV opportunity to take the philosophy of 24/7 customer service one step further- available to answer any questions– for example, consumers could ask beauty brands about styling tips, insurance/finance brands could offer investing advice, etc.  All in all, another great way to reach and connect with consumers.

And my plus one and I could use it to enjoy watching Breaking Bad together!

(Anyone else humming ‘Somewhere Out There‘ from Fievel Goes West with that last statement?)