Yesterday were the local elections in the Netherlands. It is the first Dutch election I was not eligible to vote, because I live abroad. The Dutch Broadcasting Foundation (NOS) had some catching up to do, because they got pretty negative reactions to their collapse-of-the-cabinet TV registration. The registration of the elections was exactly what they needed: positive reactions on Twitter and other social media.
How did they do it? Use hip tech of course :-) I do salute them for spending tax money on gadgets the people seem to like, but I have some reservations as to the use of them.
The first new thing worked pretty well and was really awesome: six man-high panels were placed behind the main presenter which showed live images from the election parties of the different larger national parties. They were used as background, but also as screen the presenter could talk with reporters who were at the location. Very cool.
They also used a large touchscreen to announce results coming in from the communities. The presenter could use localised touches to trigger events such as showing the result from a single party or swiping the whole thing away. The idea of such an interactive board is pretty cool and the swooshy sounds it makes took the thing straight into cult fanboyism, but one thing struck me: he had to show it was not some trickery.
All things which appear magically are seen as tricks of course, but people know these kinds of touch screens. The fact that he had to show it was real just told me that the interaction with the screen was not compelling enough, heck it was not even useful: it was just a plain display of geekiness. Because we can-ish.
As long as everything still is played by some form of script, the screen will not shine brightly as an interactive board. As soon as the presenter has some crazy idea to show some correlation or really cool fact he has to compile by selecting or dragging different sources of data, this will look like a proper tool instead of a kinda glorified powerpoint presentation.
But still, as a boy, I have to say: nice toys NOS :-)