Directions: Digital Content Can Be More Intelligent
- Mobile devices operated by the user with the ability to display a wide array of content types (textual, audio, video, etc.), run applications, collect and store data about content and user behavior, all with ubiquitous internet connectivity.
- Web services that a device connects to via the internet which enable the device to access media assets (images, video, ebooks) and provide application functionality to the device. Such web services include Gmail, YouTube, Facebook, Oyster, and Spotify.
The power of this delivery platform is woefully underutilized. A mobile device is, above all, a computer. In fact, processing capabilities of these devices are increasingly significant. The processing power of the Apple A7 chip used on the iPhone 5S was found on only the most bleeding-edge desktop machines ten years ago.
Web services are also built on arrays of computers (servers) with vast computational capabilities of their own, and which can add more relatively easily just by adding more servers.
Sadly, these computing resources are lying fallow today and are not employed to add value to digital content delivery. The mobile device is typically used only for display (which it does quite well) and for the storage of data (which it does relatively poorly). Web services in the world of digital publishing have few duties other than access control (password protection) and the storage and delivery of data.
So much more is possible. Computing power can generate significant value to the user by applying logic, or rules, to vast arrays of data to help the user reach a goal. The users' goals vary depending upon the specific offering. For example, the goal of a Google search is to find the most relevant search result. The goal of a shopper is to find the right product. The dizzying level of computational power in Google and Amazon's respective infrastructures allows these goals to be met with a surprisingly high level of success.