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Jul 26, 2011 07:07 am | Richard Kastelein

According to Jack Myers, who triggered everyone's radar at the first Social TV Summit in Hollywood, California last week, this could very well be the case and a $12 billion market by 2020 for Social TV is possible. Double that globally, perhaps event triple as the fastest growing TV markets are all outside the USA. How much of that will be new spend and how much will be siphoned off from traditional TV ad spend is up in the air. While America is expected to dominate ad spend in 2013 ($167bn) the five developing markets of China, Russia, Brazil, India and Indonesia will follow, contributing 62% of new ad dollars over the next three years.

It's hard to put a tangible number on such a fresh market - and it also depends on a number of things... for instance - what exactly is Social TV? And does that include multiplatform casual gaming (social gaming), tCommerce, micropayments etc. Or is it just about advertising or freemium based membership revenue scenarios? Or is it all of the above? Transmedia is also a creative strand that marries very tightly to Social TV but is it Social TV? Is Social TV more about content sharing and content discovery than content revenue?

Predicting a market valuation on Social TV is like trying to pin a medal on a shadow. But kudos for someone having a crack at it - and Myers certainly has the gravitas and personal media brand to resonate the numbers. 

We all know Social TV is essentially the intersection of TV and Social Media. But beyond that, there are plenty of forks in media convergence that touch that idea, or use it for dissemination but are not necessarily 'Social TV' as one might think.

In the opening remarks at the exclusive event, held at the Belair Country Club in Hollywood (also live streamed for free globally on the Internet), studio heads, writers, producers and a plethora of C-level executives were privy to Myers prediction of where the market is going.

And some believe he's right. Dave Morgan, over at Mediapost for instance:

While I haven't fully gotten my head around those numbers yet, Jack is a good friend and has been extraordinarily accurate in his macro market projections over the years, so I'm inclined to believe them, particularly when you consider them within the context of the $40 billion to 50 billion annually which he has previously forecast for all of social media marketing by 2020.

Barry Silverstein over at ReveNews also covered the numbers:

Industry analyst Jack Myers, who publishes the Jack Myers Media Business Report, predicted at the summit that social TV marketing could be a $12 billion market by 2020. While revenue projections are never a safe bet, the dominance of social media in today’s technology world lends some weight to Myers’ forecast. Regardless of the actual number, social TV is something all of us should be watching.

Jul 26, 2011 05:59 pm | Richard Kastelein

Applications have dominated the news in the smartphone and tablet worlds for some time but with the advent of “smart TVs” consumers are now rapidly adopting online TV applications that are integrated into their connected TVs. A new In-Stat ( research survey, 2Q’11 US Digital Entertainment Database (#IN1104891CM), estimates that over 60% of these connected households will use a TV app at least once per week.

“As expected, Netflix and YouTube currently dominate the TV application space,” says Keith Nissen, Research Director. “But as Netflix competitors become more numerous and as applications are optimized for the big screen, TV apps will become part of the mainstream TV viewing experience.”

Updated research found the following:

  • Shipments of connected TVs with integrated TV applications will grow by an average 36% over the next five years.
  • 22% of US BB households already own an HDTV with integrated TV apps.
  • TV apps are not the primary reason for purchasing connected TVs.
  • Adoption of online video streaming services, such as Netflix, does not increase the propensity to purchase online video content.
  • The viewing of DVR recorded TV programming does not lead to the adoption of free VOD services from a pay TV operator.
  • Consumers favoring subscriptions to both pay-TV and online video services rose from 18% to 30% during 2010, contributing to the continued growth of Netflix.
The 2Q’11 US Digital Entertainment Database (#IN1104891CM) delivers a consolidated view of the US digital entertainment market, covering devices, services, content, consumer behavior metrics, and forecasts. Most importantly, it answers the question: Who will be viewing what on which devices? In addition, the US Digital Entertainment Database is an invaluable and trusted resource for market statistics and analysis. It connects the dots in ways no other research report can. This quarterly update also features the following updates:
  • Shipments and subscriber installed base forecasts were updated for cable, satellite, and IPTV set top boxes, as well as for streaming media players.
  • Previously tracked network-enabled and web-enabled TV nomenclature was changed to HDTVs with and without integrated TV applications. HDTVs with integrated TV apps are also referred to as connected TVs. The new nomenclature was designed to match terminology that consumers can
    easily understand.
  • Broadband and pay-TV market shares for major service providers were added to provide more granularity to the annual subscriber forecast.
  • The Content section was not updated. These tables/charts will be updated in the Q3’11 release.
  • A more detailed examination of consumer usage behavior is presented. The data examines the correlation (or lack thereof) between related activities, such as whether or not frequent video disc rentals lead to frequent online video rentals.
  • The Content Management section tables and charts were updated.
  • The Market Assessment section was not updated. These tables/charts will be updated in the Q3’11 release.

Jul 22, 2011 09:25 am | Emma Wells

Thirty per cent of tablet use and 33 per cent of Internet use happens in front of the TV.  And if not curated carefully, this could start to negatively impact TV’s influence.

The next billion televisions will be internet connected. That's going to turn TV viewing into a much more social experience – and provides the perfect platform for second screen integration.

In fact, a growing body of research is predicting that second screen apps – and especially social integration – could have a serious impact on the TV industry.

Research by the mobile and digital technology researcher Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) has predicted that smartphone adoption will drive TV and mobile multi-tasking in UK and US. If handled right, this could result in a more engaged audience, significantly increasing programme interaction. 

Rather than distracting viewers, one of the key ways that the second screen can draw viewer engagement is with personalisation and interactivity. In the future, apps could connect viewers to the social graph, aid content discovery, encourage interactivity, most important of all - serve real-time related content based on what the TV is showing.

But of course the key to success is being able to synch the app to the TV – without this the second screen experience can easily slip from enhancing the TV experience to pulling viewers away from the main screen.

The problem with syncing

To create a compelling real-time user experience, any second screen app needs to synch with the main TV – and finding out what’s playing on the TV is not easy. The most basic solution to this problem is to create a second screen app for one TV show in particular – e.g. encourage viewers to download the “Mad Men” app to use while watching a show. However, this doesn’t completely solve the problem, because showings differ depending on timezone, pay TV provider, and region. In the USA this problem is especially important to solve because many TV programmes premiere at different times on the East and West coast.

Approaches to Synching

1.      Listening

Many companies are looking at the problem of syncing from different angles. ABC is using audio fingerprinting on the iPad to hear what the TV is playing. Similarly, Shazaam has just raised $32 million to “listen” to the TV, identify commercials, and provide related advertising content. And 12 week old startup IntoNow was recently acquired by Yahoo for 20 million used the technology to provide second screen interaction that travels with you as you move between programmes. However audio fingerprinting or “listening” can require advanced technology and infrastructure and there are inherent problems with lag time between identifying the show (it clips ten seconds of audio, sends to servers, identifies, then sends back), background noise interference and the fact it works with native applications only, not generic web applications. And it needs a microphone or it won’t work.

2.      TV Checkin

TV checkin, pioneered by the likes of GetGlue and Miso, is requires minimal infrastructure to roll out. TV checkin encourages viewers to sign into a particular show, and chat about it as they watch.  The major downside of this approach is that checking in makes an extra step – only the most highly engaged consumers participate.

3.      Automated systems

Anthony Rose has forecast the rise of automated systems that know the content we are watching now on the main TV, matching content on companion apps, with companies likeFlingo coming out of stealth mode. The cleanest way to synch the second screen is to interface with the set top box software according to Rose. This requires intelligence set top boxes, but connected and smart TVs are steadily gaining a foothold in the market.  The advantage of this approach is that the consumer doesn’t have to do anything – their tablet or smartphone “just knows” what they’re watching.

This perfectly complements the lean back attitude of TV, helping consumers embrace the second screen.

4.      Curated Systems

Another method of triggering second screen interaction is offered up by companies such as The Application Store (TAS), Ex Machina, Screach, MIG’s mVoy and others who offer up white-label customer management systems.  The systems give a framework that is tied to playout timelines in the studios and allow for creating interactivity and engagement such as quizzes, voting, predictions, social media, chat etc. on second screen devices via apps and web pages. And does not necessarily need audio fingerprinting to synchronise. 

For instance, the TAS Screentoo application framework from is integrated into UK-based, global broadcast playout system provider Snell's broadcast automation system called Morpheus, used by over 700 broadcasters worldwide. The broadcasters can create, with real-time data essential to maintaining synchronicity between the primary broadcast and second screen devices.

Netherlands-basedEx Machina, Social TV veterans, work closely with a number of major production companies to create real time engagement around reality and game shows in particular, offering up their strong background in gaming and game mechanics to their clients in this emerging space with their PlayToTv platform.

As synchronising the second screen becomes easier, expect to see TV becoming more interactive, engaging and personalised. This is a trend that enables a lot of other changes that are happening in the TV industry- namely targeted advertising, social TV, and personalisation.

Emma blogs for TV Genius over at the TV Trends Blog. TV Genius is a software company that has specialised in TV content discovery, recommendations, search, and interactive TV guides since 2005.

Jul 26, 2011 07:41 am | Gianluigi Cuccureddu SMP

Is this the next step in Social TV? From contextual enhancement and enrichment to being an intrinsic part of the content. I like the idea, and this would be marketers' heaven, devoted attention to and co-creation of the content and experience. This is how Hollywood acts as an open business platform for personalized prosumed experiences.

The INSIDE page on Facebook says:

Inside consists of film, videos and social media interactions. These pieces will live organically on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. But you can also see all highlights and films in one place at, as events happen.

Intel and Toshiba present a Social Film experience, from the director of “Disturbia,” starring Emmy Rossum and You.

Christina is a tough, resilient, 24-year old girl. She’s been trapped in a room. She has a laptop. And she needs your help to get out.

Have a look at the website of INSIDE.


What's your opinion on this?

Jul 21, 2011 06:19 pm | Pooky Amsterdam

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world.  Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

The electronic campfire which we gather around for news and support is a worldwide one.  Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and various other networks allow for people to update, keep tabs and offer useful links 24/7.  They also allow for that most rare and valuable of human commodity - kindness and support in dire times.  Where those have passed or fallen, there are Facebook accounts where we can leave our messages for families and friends.  That we can gather around topics of interest from far flung places, keeping the conversation focused and vital is a great strength of our networking power. 

Twitter and Facebook are what I call flat applications or 2D applications of interaction.  For those who want to flip through or read what other folks are saying, commentating along the way, possibly coming back to have an ongoing conversation, touching on some things of interest, it obviously works.  There are instant messages, now voice and soon webcam will be ubiquitous. When I want real dialogue with a group of people, I log in to Second Life where my avatar, an extension of my person, can have a real–time conversation with others of “my kind.”  This feeling of belonging to a virtual or Second Nation tells a lot about what virtual worlds can be.  They are often left out of the social network conversation and I have wondered why because what they can offer is truly great.

What virtual worlds such as Second Life can accomplish goes beyond what the flat web can because the degree of presence you have in an avatar in the virtual world is akin to your physical presence in the physical one.  So as an avatar, those you are speaking with in voice or text (and Second Life offers up over a billion voice minutes a month) can hear you, see you, walk with you and can show you something.  All in real–time as events are happening and this can be experienced together, simultaneously.  When that something is the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Second Life, it becomes noteworthy:

  1. Since 2005, Relay for Life for Second Life, the only global and virtual fundraising event of this kind began.
  2. Over the past 8 years more than $1,000,000 USD have been raised through individual and team donations from the user base of Second Life.
  3. The first year RFL of SL began, $5,000 dollars was raised, this year over $373,000.


It is noteworthy because of the amount of money raised for a charitable organization within a virtual world. Fundraisers for good causes, from Japan's recent Tsunami to donating to Haitian relief are of course also found on Twitter and Facebook, as are pages where you can donate to the American Cancer Society.  What makes the American Cancer Society in Second Life so special?


And here the number of personal stories, the human interests, the hope, help and community that being part of a virtual world means, speaks volumes.

I remember interviewing RFL of SL's initial visionary, Fayandria Foly, two years ago and yes this did start with the vision and dedication of one person.  One person's dedication in any world, meta or terra, indeed has changed the world many times over, usually with the physical strength and mobility someone without cancer can muster.  For those who are stricken with the various stages of the disease and recovery, being able to work from home and in privacy becomes essential. In 2005, Fayandria, a melanoma cancer survivor who understood that talking to someone privately, even anonymously, about a disease which ravaged your physical self was easier for some, began to make her vision of RFL happen virtually.

  • -She knew that talking to family members about what was happening to your body was to put too great a burden on them at times, that one needs an environment where other people understand, immediately.
  • -She knew of those who were afraid to ask their doctors relevant questions, either because they were intimidated or just not knowledgeable enough to ask the right questions.
  • -She saw how being virtual meant being able to ask these questions and get answers from experts and also from those going through exactly the same thing.
  • -She told me a story of a woman with cancer who was afraid of needles and unable to face getting the treatment she needed, until she found a support group in Second Life.
  • -Fay has helped many survivors, helped them speak to others and has helped those who hopefully will be survivors.
  • -She knew that both caregivers and those who have lost loved ones to cancer need to speak to others who went through the same thing, anytime, anyplace and from anywhere.

This means virtually and this has come to be very meaningfully Second Life.  Teams of people, many of whom have worked on the Relay in some capacity, have grown stronger over the years, many starting by walking in their avatar form on the track which remembers those we lost.  The Team Captains have risen from the ranks of those who work for Relay year after year, if they can. There are luminaria which can be lit and then through a channel can also display your message in text. The track which runs for about 10,000 virtual meters are lined with lights and messages from thousands of people.  This is a global event and available to so many people for free, without prejudice or judgment calls.

The track is also lined with virtual creations that are whimsical with giant flowers, sparkling waterfalls, amusement rides and also serious mazes which you enter and experience, firsthand, some of what those who have been diagnosed with cancer go through, to posters urging us to get our colon screened or information about latest research in oncology.

There is much help, support and community here 24 / 7 for those whose lives will truly never be the same again.  And I think it's important to write about, not only as it's a watershed moment for Second Life which deserves real commendation for being a platform where people converge, learn, share and create upon to bond their hopes together.  This is also true for those who are in education, architecture and/or who love to shop.  What that over $1 million mark means is that people have been reached because of a virtual avatar based community whose activities they can take part in directly.

The American Cancer Society ran the live stream of the Second life Telethon event on their Relay home page over this past weekend.  The American Cancer Society recognizes the value of this virtual community which can offer solace, information and fundraising support to a large group of people by reaching them most effectively where they socialize, and dance, and laugh, and shop and cry as well, because we are after all people. Each avatar a person, each person contains the potential to give. And we do, through small and large sums, sometimes as small as 4 cents. All of these micro payments add up:1 million dollars is serious money, as in take it to the bank money. The money raised is remarkable, but after all we are doing incredible things, as virtual beings and there is no limit to what we can be, so no limit to how much we can do.


Jul 26, 2011 06:41 am | Richard Kastelein

SocialGuide, a New York-based social TV company, has launched the first real-time social guide and TV companion for iPhone and Android-enabled phones. The mobile app provides a smarter, more social way to discover and watch TV and offers a series of features, including a social programming guide, genre filter, and social streams.

“More and more, TV watching is becoming a two-screen experience, where viewers are engaging with another device while watching TV,” said Sean Casey, founder and CEO of SocialGuide. “SocialGuide and its apps make it easier for TV viewers to decide which shows to watch, while also allowing them to interact with friends, fellow fans, cast members and athletes as they watch their favorite programming. The real opportunity for a social experience around TV happens as TV airs, and we’re excited to extend our website’s capabilities to mobile devices in order to make the two-screen experience even better.”

SocialGuide’s Social Programming Guide (“SPG”) ranks programs in order of their real-time social popularity as they air. This provides users with a new TV discovery tool and a refreshing alternative to the traditional electronic programming guide (“EPG”), which requires users to scroll through a randomly ordered list of networks and programs. In addition, when a user inputs their cable or TV provider information, SocialGuide provides the localized channel information, defaulting to the High Definition channel number for digital subscribers. With data showing that 50% of TV viewers do not watch their HD channels on their systems, this provides another useful benefit for users. SocialGuide’s genre filter allows users to quickly filter trending shows by categories such as series, reality show, movie, sports, or news.


The SocialGuide app also provides TV watchers with a new social companion to enhance their TV watching experience. For any program with social activity, SocialGuide provides filtered social streams so that users can follow along with the social conversation about that program. In real-time, users can monitor the social comments from “Everyone”, or all the social TV comments about that particular program. SocialGuide also surfaces a “Friends” stream so users can chose to see only what their social friends and followers are saying. And for thousands of programs and sporting events, SocialGuide has programmed the official social accounts for the stars and athletes, allowing users to enjoy what the “Cast & Team” has said about that program. Users can also easily share what they are watching with their friends and send their own comments to Twitter or Facebook directly from the SocialGuide app.

Device Requirements:

  • * Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad; Android devices
  • * Requires iOS 3.0 or later; Android OS
  • * 3.4 MB

Pricing and Availability

SocialGuide is a Free download and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Entertainment category.

SocialGuide 1.0

Jul 26, 2011 06:26 am | Richard Kastelein

The new Nyxio VioSphere Smart TV is the first – and only – touch-screen TV on the market allowing for easy navigation through numerous applications, and the split-screen design accommodates viewing television, films, videos, games or Web conferences while simultaneously viewing content via television or PC. And the VioSphere is the only fully integrated television with a built-in personal computer. Designed to save time, money, space and energy, the state-of-the-art VioSphere is a full-spectrum entertainment system: it combines HDTV technology with a personal computer and a media center.

Nyxio is fast becoming a leading-edge driver and developer of technology for the consumer electronics industry. Nyxio focuses on identifying technological deficiencies in the marketplace and develops reasonably priced, creative solutions ahead of the innovation curve. Through the consolidation of key hardware components, Nyxio strives to improve operating efficiencies and to reduce the overall environmental footprint of end users.


Effective earlier this month, Nyxio trades on the Over the Counter exchange (OTC) with the symbol NYXO.


The VioSphere’s fully integrated design offers the following features:

  • 32”, 42”, 47” and 52” LCD display screen with 1920 x 1080 pixels (HD)
  • Touch screen
  • Built-in DVD player/burner
  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi
  • 2 mega pixel embedded Webcam
  • Embedded codec, microphone and ultimate sound system
  • Operating system: Windows 7
  • Inputs: HDMI, HSB, VGA, etc.
  • Options
    • VIOP Phone
    • MCE Remote

Jul 25, 2011 07:34 am | Adriana Hamacher

 A Ukrainian company, DIVAN.TV, has launched a new over the top (OTT) multimedia console with the aim of bringing Smart TV and payment systems to Ukraine by this autumn. It’s targeting a million households by 2014 throughout eastern Europe and the CIS states and is currently the only such service provider in this market.  

When connected to TV sets, the media players will provide multiple services: TV, VOD, messaging, internet, video conference and e-commerce applications, serviced by electronic payment system MoneXy. The player currently sells for around $125 but the company intends to bring this down to $100.

DIVAN.TV’s main financier is AVentures Capital, which, since 1994, has realised more than 30 projects in such areas such as commercial property, IT, telecommunications, media, the internet, and alternative energy sources. It has a turnover of $1 billion. Its board chairman is Andrii Kolodiuk.

Crucially for the Ukrainian market, OTT consoles, with their built in wireless connectivity, require no  hardware or advanced knowledge on how to operate. Content can be delivered via the Internet. Kolodiuk predicts that the main buyers of the service will be people who can’t afford to buy a computer, and therefore do not have access to the Internet. 

These predictions are backed up by the statistics. According to market research company GFK-Ukraine, in 2010, of 18.7 Ukrainian households, the number with a TV, was 16.63 million but two thirds could access only 5-7 channels. Additionally, of those aged 45-50 only 15% had access to the internet.

Kolodyuk also expects the service to be used by the 5 million Ukrainians living outside Ukraine who will be attracted by tools enabling regular contact with relatives, payment for goods and services for elderly parents and the option of watching Ukrainian TV, via content from providers such as  Yakaboo,,, and Telegroupe .

Kolodyuk says:  

"I have long been interested in this market. DIVAN.TV – is the only product of this kind. Currently there are very limited possibilities for television in Ukraine, these have not changed since TV’s invention. The efforts of GoogleTV , AppleTV etc. have not worked here. We are ahead of them all - the first to create a unique solution for our markets. The purpose of DIVAN.TV is to bring back the central status of the TV and sofa to each home. "


Jul 22, 2011 09:38 am | Adriana Hamacher

 An extensive and forward thinking report by national innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, has put forward a persuasive argument for the development of a “future internet” which has the potential to transform the fabric of the UK’s business and society. The Future Internet Report identifies between £50 billion and £100 billion annual benefit to the UK but also stresses that further research and increased security in data protection are needed before this can become a reality. 

The UK already has much of the infrastructure in place to realise huge savings in public expenditure, business opportunities and become a global leader in ICT with the adoption of a future internet. The report commissioned by the TSB’s ICT network, identifies exciting opportunities in the evolution of the present internet, with the possibility of connecting people with objects or machines and, in some cases, machines with other machines : an “internet of people and things.”

In recent months, companies from Google to small start-ups have been looking at connecting people and objects, from washing machines and light bulbs to buildings, to create an internet of things. One step further is advanced machine to machine communication, such as integrated transport systems enabling people to travel more efficiently, with the lowest impact to the environment – an “internet on wheels”.

This week, the BBC reports that scientists from the University of Bologna in Italy have already developed software enabling cars to "communicate" with one another on the road.  The future internet is almost already here. 


In order to present the most up to date picture of where the new technology is heading, the ICTKTN conducted extensive interviews with leading figures from the UK’s most renowned organisations, including multinationals like Cisco, Fujitsu, Arup, BT and Alcatel-Lucent, along with University College London and the BBC. The object is to provide direction for future work, advise government and inform industry and academia about the opportunities on offer.

The report stresses that much technological prowess is already present, to large extent, within the UK – for example shared data systems, wireless connectivity and secure payment models – the challenge is largely how to bring these elements together. 

The advantages are enormous, not only is there the possibility of creating a hugely attractive investment environment for multinationals and UK business, but also massive savings across all levels of society, from government, to local authorities to the individual, with opportunities for highly efficient value added services.

There would be more choice in service provision. For example, the AA may repair your boiler while British Gas could be the best choice to fix white goods in your home. The ability to share data and integrate service would function in all sectors, from manufacturing to health. 

These services would be available from anywhere at any time and businesses would also benefit from being able to contract out, far more efficiently than at present, accessing a global supply chain. Integrated transport systems and remote communications would not only reduce costs but benefit the environment. 

By establishing an integrated platform, the UK would possess a new economic sector with the potential to provide thousands of new applications, services and opportunities for business. This is a similar model to that operated by Apple and Google today. 

Central to the Future Internet Report, is a convergence of services together with shared data. The degree to which the future internet can deliver value will depend on the degree to which data can be shared but this, in turn, presents issues of cost, security and regulation.

Challenges relating to personal data are wide ranging. There are regulatory, business and technological issues to take into account. Ultimately, consumers must have confidence that any information held about them is secure, regulated and can be withdrawn on request.

But without massive amounts of data, from HD video to multi-purpose sensors, an internet of the future simply cannot exist. Data is already multiplying at an alarming rate, with the number of connected devices set to increase worldwide from 4.5 billion today to 50 billion by 2020. To give some perspective, amassing all the data available in 2010 would result in a stack of books stretching not only from the Sun to Pluto but back again.

Developing trust and incentives to share data is an important aspect of the project. Extensive data from both people and machines means more targeted services, at lower cost, available anywhere at any time. Imagine a vending machine that can report back to central control when it needs refilling or a Smart Meter in your home which manages your energy and reduces consumption. In fact, you won’t have to imagine it for long as the Department of Energy plans to have one installed in every home by 2015.

Another data obstacle is the need for more addresses, which can’t be accommodated using the current internet protocol system, IPv4. Moving onto the next generation, IPv6, is seen as a crucial step, which needs international coordination. Delay in changing over is identified as one of the main limiting factors to UK development. 

Other major technological challenges are also involved in releasing spectrum, critical for any application that relies on wireless communication, and developing a trusted cloud infrastructure. 

If the UK is to succeed in becoming a pioneer in developing the future internet, a coordinated strategy by government and business is key. The Future Internet Report calls for effective governmental leadership, incentives encouraging business to embrace the new opportunities and a campaign to develop awareness of the benefits. The creation of a smart City Centre of Excellence, to provide a template and showcase for a future internet environment, is also a major recommendation. This would bring the UK to the forefront of innovation, along other basic forms of the future internet which already exist in San Francisco, Barcelona, Korea and China. 


Jul 21, 2011 10:58 pm | Richard Kastelein

Audible Magic, the recognized global leader in digital fingerprinting technology and content identification solutions, today announced that it has been awarded U.S. Patent No. 7,917,645, entitled “Method and Apparatus for Identifying Media Content Presented on Media Playing Devices.” Formally issued on March 29, 2011, the patent, Audible Magic’s fifteenth in the area of digital fingerprinting and content identification, demonstrates the company’s continuing commitment to groundbreaking innovation in this fast developing technology segment.

Specifically, the newly awarded patent addresses the identification of media as it is played on devices such as smart TVs, tablets, set-top boxes, and smart phones. This patent is a fundamental building block of Audible Magic’s SmartID™ system, which enables social TV, interactive advertising, TV commerce, personalization, and other related applications. The patent is a notable addition to Audible Magic’s already impressive portfolio of patents in digital fingerprinting and content identification.

“The awarding of this patent exemplifies Audible Magic’s continued long-term investment in building foundation technology for content identification, and our desire to protect our intellectual property” said Jim Schrempp, Audible Magic’s Vice President of Core Engineering. “The dramatic growth in smart devices and the explosion of social media applications demonstrate the significance and value of this patent in our portfolio.” Audible Magic licenses use of its intellectual property via its portfolio of services.

The company also today introduced the SmartSync System, a solution specifically aimed at synchronizing events on smart devices to content being played from other media playing devices.

Available on iOS, Android, OSX, Linux and Windows platforms, the SmartSync API enables developers to build unique applications for a wide range of devices such as smart TVs, smart phones, tablet computers, game consoles, set-top boxes, and specialized appliances.

Behind the SmartSync System is the power of Audible Magic’s market leading SmartID™ content identification technology. The SmartID technology is based on the company’s patented digital fingerprint technology, which delivers a far more robust approach to digital content identification than watermarking systems.

Unlike watermarks, digital fingerprints require no modification of the original content; are immune to most content transformations caused by compression, timescaling, formats, or codecs; and delivers a higher degree of accuracy and time resolution.

A unique advantage of the SmartSync System is its ability to deliver better than frame accurate time-stamp annotations for media. This degree of accuracy makes it possible to build applications that require close synchronization of audio and video tracks that, in turn, ensure high-quality viewer experiences.

The SmartSync system uses audio captured via microphones on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets or from audio buffers. The technology will continue to 2 work even in noisy environments. Introducing what is called continuous synchronization; the SmartSync system uses a clip of media as short as 6 seconds to get an initial identification and then uses a continuous rolling identification that maintains better than frame accurate time-stamps.

“As an enabling technology, the SmartSync System and API gives developers ultimate flexibility and control in delivering interactivity in a wide-range of applications never before possible,” said Jay Friedman, Audible Magic’s Vice President of Marketing, when making the announcement. “And, our customers tell us our solution is extremely robust and easy to integrate with their applications..”

For more information about the company, go to


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