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Warner Bros. Eyes Internet of Things for Content Strategy Opportunities

Warner Bros. is exploring how to further sell ways to enjoy its entertainment content across multiple platforms in the new frontier known as the Internet of Things, or IoT.

The University of Southern California hosted its Intelligent IoT Integrator (I3) Consortium on Thursday at the Galen Center in Los Angeles to gather its founding members and officially launch the consortium. IoT is a concept that envisions the internet as more than just a way for people to communicate and share information, allowing for objects to interconnect via built-in  sensors, camera and actuators.

I3 is looking at this notion that the internet is more than just people, it’s about people becoming more aware of their surroundings,” said Bhaskar Krishnamachari, professor at the  Viterbi school of engineering co-founder of I3. “The consortium is helping to make the conversation around IoT go beyond just one application and trying to allow third-party application developers to connect to data that’s coming from their communities and build a large number of useful applications for IoT.”

Warner Bros. is one of the founding members of I3, which was founded at USC with the support of the City of Los Angeles. In the new landscape of the Internet of Things, Warner Bros. is interested in developing ways for consumers to digitally purchase and personalize their entertainment experiences then integrate them into their daily lives via their digital devices.

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What we sell can be sold as as a digital right, the right to watch ‘Wonder Woman’ on your television, the right to walk into a theater to watch ‘Justice League,’ the right to play Injustice on your game console,” said Bryan Barber, VP of digital innovation at Warner Bros. “The Internet of Things is a development that can create millions and millions of internet consumer touch points. The devices you encounter could light up or respond in ways that are uniquely tailored to you as a fan of DC Comics, Harry Potter, or their own fandom.”

There’s a natural intersection between the entertainment industry and the Internet of Things. Warner Bros. is supporting the development of IoT and has joined and supported I3 because we’re excited by this organization and its ability to create an innovation platform,” he continued. “This is a new frontier and we don’t yet know all the possibilities for Warner Bros. in the Internet of Things. What we’re really want to do is to start trying things and start learning and is going to give us the innovation platform that allows us to do that.”

The I3 Consortium is was created as a collaboration between the USC Marshall School of Business and the Viterbi School of Engineering, although Krishnamachari said he hopes to one day expand the initiative to include the School of Cinematic Arts and the Rossier School of Education. Other presenters at the consortium included the City of Los Angeles and Tech Mahindra, an information technology company, that introduced the new Community Action Platform for Engagement (“CAPE,”) a new community-based digital platform that will help to build smarter, more sustainable and energy-efficient cities.

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