I was watching the races unfold tonight, as I have done in the past elections. The thing that I found just as interesting as the race itself was all the cool tech the news sources had to cover the election. The computing power in each news room was phenomenal.
First, there was CNN. They had the big screen behind with a map of the US color coding each state. In fact the map only covered half of the “Wall”. I wonder how much that one cost.
Then there is the “Magic Wall” – a big touch screen in which John King would be able to pull up stats and charts. Four big buttons on the left to let him choose how to run the screen. A big yellow box with an “X” in it to close out any windows he had open. No minimize button or task bar though.
In NYC, Times Square had some pretty flashy tech. From the Big screens showing off the candidates, to the ticker marquee that wrapped around the overhang. It was all pretty impressive to see as the race unfolded.
I didn’t see the projection of the US on the Rockefeller ice rink that NBC was going to do. I am still always impressed what we can do with tech nowadays.
The big question I have though is – what happens to that tech after today? Is it still going to be used in day-to-day news reporting, or will it go into the basement?
I can see this change the face of news itself. We have already seen changes in what meteorologists use to display the weather maps. Gone will be the day of a hand held clicker that moves from screen to screen. Not to mention the pull down maps they used to use in the 70’s and 80’s and definitely no magnetic icons of clouds blowing or smiling suns.
Now, you can touch a couple spots on the screen and move around without being tethered to a controller. Zoom in on areas, push it all to the left or right and call up important data. No more green screens, here.
If news stations started using that for the general news, there is no need for someone in the control room to flip though the pictures. Just a touch of the screen and we see a picture or a Google map or whatever the newscaster wants.
At any rate, if CNN is going to put the Magic Wall away, I have a great place in my living room in which they can store it. I just hope it comes with a remote control so I don’t have to get up to touch the screen and change the channel. Of course, I could always train the dog to nuzzle the screen to do that…