News and Coverage

Sensors, Smart Content, and the Future of News

Nick Bilton (The New York Times R&D Labs)
Average rating: ****.
(4.56, 9 ratings)

This talk will explore the future of news and the ever-changing narrative. We are currently in a time when sharing and social networks are changing the way we consume editorialized media and the definition of “content” is increasingly blurred. In the R&D Labs at The New York Times we are exploring some of the questions around how we will consume information in the next 2 to 20 years. Leveraging the reality that there are sensors in every part of our lives helping us aggregate smart content that is relevant to the device we are using and changing the experience to use those tools.

For 157 years we have delivered essentially “dumb content” to your doorstep; Tom, Jane, and Bob have all received the same newspaper delivery with the same content, irrelevant of location, interests, and available time.

As we build out more real-time analytics, device detection and granular user interaction, we are able to deliver “smart content” to each user and device making the experience even more engaging and relevant all while trying to help our readers navigate the blizzard of information we are subject to on a daily basis.

We are exploring changing our news based on the “3 screen” experience: web, mobile, and living room. And we are exploring “Newspaper 2.0” and next generation e-ink devices.

Photo of Nick Bilton

Nick Bilton

The New York Times R&D Labs

Nick Bilton is a Designer, User Interface Specialist, Technologist, Journalist, Hardware Hacker, Researcher, etc. etc.

Nick has worked in numerous different industries within the context of design, research & development, technology and storytelling. He is currently the Design Integration Editor for The New York Times and the User Interface Specialist & Lead Researcher for The New York Times Research & Development Lab working on a variety of research projects and exploring technologies that could become commonplace in the next 2-10 years. His work in the R&D Labs includes exploring and prototyping content and interaction on futuristic flexible digital displays, a vast array of mobile applications and devices, Times Reader, Print-to-mobile SMS, Semacode integration, content in the living room and context aware sensors. Nick is also the co-founder, with Michael Young, or Shifd.com, a startup within The New York Times that helps people shift content easily between multiple devices. Shifd recently won ‘Best overall Hack’ at last years Yahoo! Hack Day. Nick’s work has been profiled regularly in multiple books, magazines, newspapers and websites.

Outside of The Times, Nick helped co-found NYCResistor, a hacker space in Brooklyn which offers hardware and programming classes and allows people to collectively work on innovative open source hardware and robotics projects.

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Picture of Chris Dunphy
Chris Dunphy
03/15/2009 12:31am PDT

I was disappointed that this session was so full that they sealed the doors and I ended up locked out. Meanwhile, the session in the main hall had only a handful of people….

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