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The second screen

For years, many of us have imagined a world where a computer would sit in your family room and bring connectivity to your big screen, television.

I believe that is going to happen. And I’ve put my money where my mouth is with our investment in Boxee.

That computer is going to live inside of settops, blu-ray players, game consoles or connected tvs and other devices. It will have smart, social software and it’s bring the open web to our lives in new ways. All on the big screen and a remote control. 

There is another way two way streams are going to come into your family room and that’s on your mobile device – either smartphone or tablets. 

The reality is that second screen apps have actually been happening for a long time now. Twitter is a killer second screen application.

Here’s a graph that the Twitter folks posted after last super bowl.

(full size image)

The horizontal axis is time. The vertical axis is a percentage: the blue line is the percentage of tweets, relative to the total worldwide tweet volume, that were about the Super Bowl each minute, while the red line is the percentage of tweets that were about brands or commercials. 

There are other startups bringing the second screen to life including Miso, Hot Potato and Boxee is working on an iPad app as well. 

Thanks to the iPad and upcoming Android powered tablets we are going to see a lot more of these second screen applications this year.

In a world where the software and user interface on our cable and telco boxes have been closed & stuck, I’m very happy to see the second screen take off.