Best Use of Technology to Make Being Lazy Even Easier - 2012
TiVo and other DVR technology has been a boon for couch potatoes. Gone are the days when humanity was actually forced to watch commercials or plan their lives around watching specific shows at specific times. But DVRs have one serious drawback: If you are watching something live and it goes to commercials, what do you do while you wait for your show to come back on?The answer is AdSkip, an award-winning prototype device developed by a trio of ASU engineering majors — Anthony Thau, Chase Parenteau, and Chris McBride — and submitted to an Intel-sponsored competition in Shanghai. (They won second place in their category.) AdSkip uses complex algorithms to detect when a TV show is about to cut to commercial and instantly changes the channel to something better. That "something better" could be another show or even the Internet. When your show returns from its commercial break, AdSkip pops the digital clutch and drops you back into the action. Sure, humanity has been doing this for decades by means of the "television remote control," but this is the 21st century! There is absolutely no reason why you should have to push a physical button to get this kind of result.