LazyWeb, while you sleep

I often have dreams that feature technology ideas, but I don’t always remember them and more often than not they’re just goofy ideas. This morning’s dream is somewhat in the goofy category but might be useful to some, and since I remember all of it in detail I’ll relate it here.

So I’m stopping by Andy‘s office in Santa Monica to go have lunch (I think I was on a roadtrip in my dream), and while he steps away to grab his jacket I notice there’s an IM window scrolling past with loads of text. When he gets back a few seconds later I ask him what that is, and he says he’s watching the Simpsons over IM.

I say “you’re doing what? how?” and he explains it, and this is way more detail than I normally remember in dreams, but I thought it was such a cool idea I think I kind of “saved” it so I would remember later. So he goes on, explaining how he built a chatbot that is wired to a stream of TV closed captioning, so you add captionbot to your buddy list, then talk to it. You ask it what’s on TV right now, and it returns a list of shows, you pick a show and it starts streaming out dialogue from characters, directly via closed caption data. “It’s like watching a show in text” I say and then we go off to lunch.

And that’s all I remember. Andy built a really cool text adventure bot last year, and TVeyes is basically Technorati for TV (though they predate Technorati by several years), searching caption histories for words or phrases. I doubt you can get real time caption data and I’m not even sure if reading a tv show would be interesting, but I figured I’d share the dream with everyone, in case someone feels like building it.