Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Second Mouse Gets the Expertise

I've become impatient. I want everyone to have a remote that gives them the same control as a computer mouse.

Using arrow keys to navigate? That's just not good enough. You're restricted to selecting options in a menu. You should be able to use your remote to move a cursor anywhere you want on your TV screen.

Why?, of course.

No, it doesn't exist yet. And I have no inside scoop about Amazon's product pipeline. All I have is my own conjecture.


How many times has this happened to you? You're watching something on TV and you want to know who is portraying one of the characters. You go to, but you can't remember the character's name either. Complete frustration. You resign yourself to clicking links for every performer, looking at headshots, and eventually finding what you seek.

Shouldn't this process be simpler?

Imagine if the video feed has imdb hyperlinks for every performer. So far, so easy.

Now let's take it one step further. Imagine that you can access the hyperlinks by using your remote—your second mouse—to click on the body or face of any on-screen character. After you click, the performer's page appears on your computer (or your TV screen). You just can't get any easier than that. No more frustration.

How much would you pay for something like that? Don't answer yet, there's more.

Why not use the hyperlinks in reverse? For each entry on a performer's imdb page, you'll have the option to view video. That's not very special. But there are hyperlinks. Before you view the video, you'll have the option of viewing the entire video or just the scenes in which the performer appears.

This reverse feature will rule searches for late-night musical guest appearances. There will be no better way to see and hear your fave group on ''Letterman'' and then ''SNL'' and, finally, ''Conan.'' All from one place.

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