NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The idea of "television" is changing rapidly.
Our viewing experience is evolving from the living-room experience of yesteryear into one where we consume content on any screen, anywhere, anytime.
Unless you reside in a cave above Jalalabad, Afghanistan, you must be aware that every day, more episodic television and feature-length movie content is available at your fingertips on the device and screen of your choosing. Let's explore the next emerging trends.
Video on Your Watch
Dick Tracy was on to something. Nearly 70 years after the comic strip detective started using a two-way wrist radio (changed in the 1960s into a two-way wrist TV), Apple (AAPL) - Get Report has taken the notion of a bleeding-edge wrist communicator and TV and reimagined it with this year's release of the Apple Watch (complete with elastomer wristband and sapphire crystal screen -- two cool features Dick Tracy probably didn't have.)
At last month's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple's Kevin Lynch surprised many when he showed a couple of video clips from Vine being played on the 312 pixel-by-390 pixel Apple Watch.
Sure, this isn't as eye-catching as the science fiction magic displayed by Tom Cruise in 2002's Minority Report. Recall the "Did you see that?" moments in the film when Cruise's character, Police Chief John Anderton, manipulated transparent video frames with his hands, playing and stopping them at will. The recent advances in paper-thin, pliable LCD screens will have us talking about these scenarios before too long.
But we digress, and Lynch's demonstration signals the advent of new, smaller and more personal screens for video consumption.
Let's be clear: You probably won't want to watch an entire episode of FOX's Wayward Pines on a small screen attached to your wrist, but you may well be watching Vine clips, short YouTube videos and social snippets from Facebook (FB) - Get Report and Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report in this fashion very soon.
Viewers of this content are speaking -- and making statements with their viewing patterns -- that their desire is to consume this variety of clips on screens of all sizes, shapes and resolutions. The message is clear then, for those who produce entertainment and those who design and deploy the workflows to deliver said clips.
Sure, Mr. Bleeding Edge, you argue, "My phone battery is bludgeoned anytime I watch any significant amount of video. So how in the world is a device one-eighth the size of my phone that lives on my wrist going to be able to render video clips for more than 10 minutes or so?"
Unless Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report CEO Elon Musk works with Tim Cook, this is a valid concern, and we likely still have a long road to travel before power consumption on wrist-based devices is sufficient to support extended viewing sessions. Further, time and viewing patterns may show that the smallish wrist-based screen isn't sufficient for watching any clip longer than three minutes.
Nevertheless, in today's selfie-driven world it's likely that a good number of consumers who embrace wearable technology will make (very) short-form video content part of their experience with these devices.
Do You Speak Social Syndication?
Did you know that the average user spends 1.7 hours a day on social networks? Or 0.8 hours on microblogging, which includes Twitter usage?
For most of you, this probably includes some time on Facebook, even if it's just posting pictures of your vacations or your kids' soccer games so that Grandma in Grand Rapids is updated.
Or you tweet our some nuggets of feedback to the cast of Under the Dome on its latest episode via Twitter.
In either case and on either network, more programmers are planning to offer some form of their episodic entertainment for you to consume.
Follow the audience and provide programming where it lives -- this is one new model of syndication. HBO and Facebook recently partnered to do exactly this for the new Dwayne Johnson show, Ballers. After the episodes appear on the network, viewers can watch them for a limited time on Johnson's Facebook page.
As you spend more time on social networks, you can expect content creators and programmers to find an ever-increasing number of pathways to your eyeballs.
Here's an example. Let's say you like The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Facebook and you also follow Tom Hanks. Using new technology, Comcast's (CMCSA) - Get Report NBCUniversal could tag Tom Hanks in an appearance on tonight's Fallon show, and he would appear in your feed based on those parameters.
Let's say your mom isn't a Fallon fan but follows Tom Hanks on Facebook. She would now see the same clip as you, given her affinity for Hanks. She might even laugh at the skit featuring Fallon and Hanks and choose to follow The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Viewer gained.
This method of reaching viewers as they are engaged in social media and presenting them with relevant and timely content will be a trend to watch.
Might as Well Play Video Directly on My Eyeball
The future of video delivery looks as immersive as the previous Minority Report reference suggests.
Although today we may not be able to view video on contact lenses or on our corneas, such exciting technologies -- or others we haven't yet imagined -- are likely to emerge.
And changes can come fast. We no longer talk about them in terms of years, but in months. Video delivery is constantly changing and finding or creating new ways to appear before our eyes. Keep yours wide open.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.