Thursday, September 28, 2006

Live and Learn from TV

I was reading the newly-published patent apps early this morning, and I came across the Educational television broadcast system (20060218614; Published: September 28, 2006). The basic idea is fine — interactive, live education using pay-per-view TV — but I don't really see what's novel about this particular app.

Regardless, let's imagine how the system might work for pre-school children.

Connect your child's LeapFrog system to your TV. Instead of using one of the L-Max Games you purchased, you select a live lesson from LeapFrog's pay-per-view menu. Your child's name/city is transmitted to the on-screen edutainer, and your child enters a new world. Each channel has a maximum number of subscribers so that the edutainer can speak your child's name multiple times during the show.

The TV program is technologically advanced enough to distribute a single visual/audio feed with multiple overlay graphics. Why is this important? Every child sees the same main image and hears the same audio, but the overlay graphic is different for each child based on her interaction with the show! Your child's LeapFrog system decides which overlay graphic to display.

For instance, if the edutainer asks a multiple choice question with four options, your child's LeapFrog selects one of the four overlay graphics based on her answer. But that's not the end of it. All answers are transmitted to the edutainer and she'll decide what's next in the program based on these responses.

With such a system, there are multiple layers of interaction and personalization at a minimal cost to the content provider.

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