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IPTV/VoD: Fast forward to Christmas future

A day in digital heaven

Remote control for virtualized desktops

While I'm walking through the office with my Starbucks mchaccino I remember there are two TV shows I need to record as I won't be in the house to scream at my voice-activated PVR. On my work PC, I call up the software to instruct my TV to save those shows on-demand on its network PVR storage service as mine is full of West Wing re-runs and A-Team episodes.

The day moves fast as we don't do meetings in my office. We walk and talk, we shout, and we get things done. Staff have Bluetooth headsets connected to a VoIP phone exchange in the office and don't have fixed seating positions. Our office workflow systems are massively advanced compared to the days of Microsoft Office. Our address books are networks, ideas are visualised in 3D, opportunities on the horizon go into IdeaBanks and radar systems to form a collective conscious ecosystem for us all to feed on and from. Work is now about intellectual output as there is no paper and all systems inter-operate. It still needs human judgement, but we've innovated-out bureaucracy.

Thank god for automation, as I'm not a man for paperwork. All my bills, correspondence and accounts are consolidated into a central electronic identity that I can access from anywhere. I can see my bank accounts, tax information, investments, insurance, utility bills, food shopping, medical history, entertainment subscriptions and transaction histories all in the same place from wherever I am, whenever I want. Everything is cross-referenced, statistically analysed and illustrated in real-time. My phone is also de-centralised and international, so rings through wherever I am, regardless of whether I'm on the mobile, at home on the landline, or on a PC.

But my electronic world has its downside too. PMT is electronic. My mum can call me whenever I am, even in the most remote of places. If I was prime minister the woman would still be neurotically video mailing me about ridiculous things that don't need to be dealt with for at least another five years. At least now I have the time to enjoy the things that the administration time took away from me before. The world is globalised and everything is local.

But it's soon time to go home, and I'm off to my hotel. GPS on my phone helps me locate the place itself, which is only a few tube stops away. My payment and check-in have already been pre-processed and the hotel's systems now I'm on my way and will be arriving in less than half an hour.

As soon as I arrive, it's time to throw my bags everywhere and settle in. The widescreen HDTV is asking me for my account details, so it can look up my centralised preferences and purchasing history. I text them in with the remote control and in a few seconds, what appears on my TV at home is exactly mirrored in front of me, hundreds of miles away. I've got 15 minutes or so before I have to head out the door, so decide to check what's new. It's found 76 new international TV channels, 400 TV programs I might like (in order of popularity), and a list of suggested system updates (themes, portals and other additions).

Just as I'm about to go out the door the TV screeches out The Cheeky Girls, because my girlfriend is on some resentful campaign of scorn and has reset my message alert at 3am as she thinks its very amusing. It's an incoming video call from my sister, who is bouncing around on the screen with my little nephew. They're singing to some dreadful IPTV karaoke service and want me to record it on my network PVR for later. Even the lyrics are playing as a ticker on my screen. It's cute, but I really have to go.

The night is as any industry conference usually is, swinging from tedious to remotely interesting. Any more talk of added-value is going to make me remove some value from someone face's. My tux is creased but I'm unscathed.

But thankfully its back to the hotel earlier than expected, which is good as I'm exhausted as usual. Eighteen hours into the day and it's about time I stick my feet up and wind down before I get any more wound up and do another marathon of sleep deprivation. It may be a sign of genius, but it makes you grumpy as hell. As soon as I get through the door, I throw my mobile on the sofa, the TV switches on and I press the button to display my voicemails and text messages because I'm too lazy to look through my phone.

While I've been schmoozing the night away, the TV has been thinking and searching and compiled a nice list of things for me to watch on a lazy Friday night. That's very handy as I really can't be bothered to decide. I flick through TV channels in different countries with the 3D interface, which means I can tuck flying and revolving screens around the box instead of just watching one thing at a time. The programme guide is a slick grey-black as I downloaded a custom theme for it.

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