Social television and user interaction

Abstract. At first glance, the notion of social interactive television seems to be a tautology. Television watching has always been a social activity. People watch television together in their living rooms, and outside their homes they talk about last night’s football match; and even call each other to recommend an interesting program. Unfortunately, until recently, research on social interactive television has been scarce. One limiting factor for the development of innovative services for the home is the interactive technology behind user interaction, which was limited to the remote control. Fortunately, a number of studies concentrate on extending interactive methods, for example by using contextual information. This article reviews the state of the art in these two directions: the social aspects of television and user interaction. We conclude with a research agenda for further research, which might transform current interactive television services into shared experiences.

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