“Are there any new technical capabilities in hardware and/or software opening up new creative options for content playback, design, or interactivity? How are they being applied? How well are they being applied?”
Hardware capabilities have been improving with players for a number of years. It is amazing to see the small size of a player that can do 4K successfully. Chrome has added quite a bit of additional capability as well, bringing iOS-like management to the platforms that make management of systems much easier over OS X, Windows, or other platforms. From a creativity side, the capabilities being developed from a customer recognition perspective have grown tremendously in the past number of years with respect to demographics. While many of the features and capabilities can be useful, care has to be taken in the implementation and use. Features like gender identification may not be accurate in the eyes of the customer and could create a less than productive engagement.