Thursday, June 14, 2007

It’s the Mirror Neurons: Put your TV on your Ipod Part II

The mirror neurons are basically what happens in your brain where anything you've seen/experienced in real life -- let's say a 50" plasma screen TV -- where even if you see the commercial of a 50" plasma screen TV on a 20" television, your brain more or less processes it in your mind as if it is actually a 50" plasma screen. Mirror Neurons are also the thing where if you see someone eating chocolate your brain automatically (without you even thinking about it) begins processing the same chemicals as if you were actually eating it. And of course, porn. Porn works because of the mirror neurons. And for that matter, TV. TV fires the mirror neurons. Advertisers and programmers alike capitalize on this.

And this is the beauty of science and observation. People capitalized on mirror neurons for years without ever even knowing what they are. It was already a science. But increasingly, armed with more and more data about how the brain works, they will probably get it to an exact science. A lot of benefit will come from that, and not just on the advertising and entertaining fronts.

But right now – already, the mirror neurons are why even on your ipod's small screen it doesn't matter, and when the new generation of ipods with the bigger screen like the iPhone (I am thinking helplessly of some way to put a Pacific Catch reference in here, but I can't make it work) it will matter even less.

Today I walked over to Houstons on the Embarcadero to meet another out of work slacker for lunch (she's a married out of work slacker with 2 kids though, so she's nowhere near the slacker I am) and when I use my feet as a mode of transportation, I try to be early if I can so I will have10 minutes to cool off. So I sat at the bar guzzling diet Coke and tried out my new "kick-stand" case, a little accessory that makes it easy for you to stand the iPod upright.

I decided that for Season 5 of 24, I would watch it exclusively on the iPod. Let me rant on this one more time. I bought it off iTunes. The quality is really great. If it's not DVD quality running on the bigscreen, my eyes can't tell the difference. On a 2" screen it looks really good as well. But, I paid more for that on iTunes than I would have buying the DVDs at Best Buy. And those come with commentary.

Steve Jobs needs iTunes to be competitive with BestBuy, Target, Walmart, Amazon, etc. And not just on price. They need to figure out subtitles, cut scenes, commentary, all of the extras. A good first step would just be selling it for less than the superior, vastly more expensive to make and distribute physical product. If Apple wants iTunes/iStore/"Steve's Little Hobby™" Apple TV to be a player, the digital media must compete fully with the physical media or be noticeably less expensive than the physical media. Right now, neither is the case, I get less at a higher price. I imagine if I had Steve Jobs' real e-mail address and whined about it, he'd come back with something like, "Hey man, I already told you, it's just a hobby."

But it so isn't. Trust me on this one people.The iPod and the iPhone are the only reason he's even still at Apple. They ARE cool and fun and new. Mac and the software tools – they're the hobby, not to the company, but to Steve, ok since Steve is the company…. At least that is sure the look of things.

I'm fine with Steve focusing on Apple TV, that's where I think the focus should be. Huge growth market or slow growth market. Which hobby would you pick?

Sooooo…I'm waiting for my friend to show up and guzzling Diet Coke and watching 24. Because I am watching season 5 exclusively on the iPod, it's going slower than normal because I only watch when I'm out. I haven't made a huge habit of watching the 2" screen at home and have only ever watched the iPod and bed once. I decided I did not want to get into that habit (I haven't had a tv in my bedroom for going on 10 years).

I know this is all a long build up and sadly right now I'm in phase one of my "writing", which is just writing down what I think. I am practicing my thinking. Phase 2 will commence in the middle of July when I begin practicing my editing.

I'm watching 24 on the iPod on a 2" screen looking at the "command center" of the Counter Terrorist Unit where they have some huge 100" jumbotron screen – and on the 2" iPod, my brain still spatially processes the information as if I was looking at a huge 100" jumbotron. That is why I believe portable video will be a fairly well adopted technology in the long run . I consider right now to be the "very early adopter" phase I say that because theoretically I live in one of the top-ten gadget conscious zip codes, and I'm the only one I've ever seen watching portable video in public on a portable device (note, I have seen several people watching video on laptops – I'm talking about stuff you put in your pocket).

I'm sure that will all change the night of June 29, when the fools who just stood in line to buy the iPhone cross the street to stand in line at Pacific Catch. I hope Apple will just give the fools that can't wait a phone with Pirates of the Caribbean already on it so they'll have something to do while they wait in line for their calamari.

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