Hi, my name is Rob. Welcome to my blog.
I decided to make short write ups on some of my favorite, or newly released, iPhone apps. Featured today is Into_Now, a television tagging & check in app. It is a bit like Foursquare for your TV. The sleekest part of this app, is the ability to automatically determine what is playing on your television at any time! The technology uses low-frequency sound waves picked up from your device’s microphone. According to the Into_Now team, low frequencies are more immune to distortions. It encodes the “most diferenciating characteristics” from the low end into a digital fingerprint which it streams to their server. From there, their technology will determine what you are watching and ping back a result like the one below.
If you are like me, you might be wondering “why anyone would want to do this?” I pondered for a bit while playing with Into_Now and I realized a few use cases that I would take part in. First, Netflix “Watch It Now” has become a staple in my life. Every night before bed, my girlfriend and I decide who is holding the laptop and browse over to Netflix to check out our nightly viewing choices. We usually end up either watching a documentary, or, a TV series. We have discovered some amazing shows through Netflix such as Breaking Bad, Dexter, Arrested Development, and 30 Rock. All the time now, at parties and such, I find myself saying “Do you have Netflix? Oh you do, you have to check out this documentary we just watched. It is amazing!” Into_Now will take all of the guess work of this process.
Another way I see myself, and others, using this app is for real time communication. I get made fun of a bit for this, but I am ready to relieve my Tivo. I much prefer doing my watching live because I can almost always find an active Twitter hashtag chat on the show! Whether it be the A’s game, Jersey Shore, or The Real Housewives, someone is saying something about it on Twitter and I love being part of the conversation. Its like talking at the movies, if is fun but it now it pisses people off. Now, I can silently make my jabs and saccastic comments without annoying the hell out of whoever is sitting next to me.
Something else you might be wondering if you are like me is, “how are these guys going to make money?” This is where it gets really cool! In some capacity, anyone who has turned on the TV in the last 50 years is familiar with the Nielsen Ratings System. This is the group that determines a television shows “rating.” I happened to have been approached by Nielsen earlier this year and they offered me a chance to be part of their polling group. The way it works is, Nielsen installs a small piece of hardware onto your cable box. When you watch TV the hardware will send data on what you are watching back to Nielsen. In return for giving away your sacred data, Nielsen offers to pay their users on a monthy bases. This is how they figure their ratings. They have thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of televisions wired up with their hardware. Each of which is costing them money on a montly basis to use. Into_Now has the potential to completely revolutionize television ratings!
Also, Into_Now has plans to collaborate with advertisers. If you tag a commercial, this could bring up a special deal or coupon from the advertiser. Or, by tagging a live TV show one could be entered for a prize or raffle. There is a potential to make interactive ads. Between this and AR technology the future of television advertising is looking very interactive. Although, does the average joe really want to interact with their commercials? This is yet to be proven. Would you?
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