The New York Times Co.’s research and development group has some of the best views in their midtown skyscraper — 24 floors above the newsrooms, higher even than the executives’ suites. Developers in the core R&D group — with titles like “lead creative technologist” and, my favorite, “futurist-in-residence” — are charged by the brass 14 floors below them with anticipating how news will next be consumed.
Among their hunches: in the living room.
We visited the R&D group last week, and this week we’ll be running five videos showing how they’re looking at the future of news. Today we begin with design integration editor Nick Bilton, who runs through their thinking on e-reader devices, news consumption outside the web browser, and interactive advertising.
You’ll notice there’s a marketing or advertising component to nearly all of what the group is working on. While this is the first time much of the lab has been seen publicly, they’ve given similar tours to more than a hundred advertisers and agencies, Bilton told us. And keep in mind the company has an interest in appearing ahead of the curve to investors.