In a time of confusion over the power and rapid uptake of media technologies, Hewlett-Packard head Carly Fiorina delivered an inspiring keynote speech yesterday at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas. Her message encouraged members to consider not only capabilities–what humanity can do with communication technology–but character–what humanity chooses to do with communication technology.
"We have entered an era in which every process is going from analog, static and physical to digital, mobile and virtual," she said. It is an era in which there is a very real possibility that media communication will soon reach "every single one of the six billion people on the planet."
With that powerful prospect fresh in her listeners’ minds, Fiorina discussed the exciting revelations that technology brings and the power it has placed in the hands of consumers to not only define when, where and how they will receive content but the ability to create and distribute content as well. "There used to be a time when access to information was the root of all power," Fiorina asserted, adding that today, due to the Internet, there are "no secrets." The changing nature of authority, she explained, has enabled individuals to control the content they receive.
"They don’t need us anymore," Fiorna said adding, however, they do need us to "add value and understanding," to the volume of information consumers can now receive. As consumers learn more, she comments, they should not simply "expect more from us, but expect more of us."
Concluding her speech, Fiorina referred to the works of Oprah Winfrey, the 2004 NAB Distinguished Service Award (DSA) recipient, praising the television entrepreneur and celebrity for bringing stories to her audience that inspire the desire to progress rather than regress. Fiorina challenged NAB members to tell stories like Oprah’s, ones that "celebrate achievement, that feed the soul," to tell stories that "inspire, uplift, educate and inform."
When creating the content of tomorrow, Fiorina said, "help us believe we can solve the challenges of this age."
HP is working with Warners and DreamWorks to develop post-production digital technology it hopes to then sell to the rest of the entertainment world.
DreamWorks partnership is an expansion of an existing deal the companies have had in place since 2001. HP has been working with the studio on Shrek 2 by providing outsourced computational power through its new Utility Rendering Service. This system allows studios to rent off-site computing power from HP for big projects like rendering on the CG-animated Shrek 2 and Shark Tale that would otherwise require the studio to build its own IT infrastructure to peak capacity.
Companies have also been developing a Virtual Studio Collaboration Tool, an enhanced video conferencing application allowing for virtual collaboration on artwork and other projects from remote locations.
The deal with Warner Bros. has the two companies working together on digital restoration of classics such as Singin’ in the Rain and The Wizard of Oz.