DirecTV Launches Interactive TV Crime-Mapping Application from SpotCrime

--emuse ITV App for "Australia's Next Top Model" Wins ASTRA Award

SpotCrime, a Baltimore-based start-up that bills itself as "the largest independent data and news company mapping crime worldwide," has launched an interactive TV application in DirecTV's TV Apps app store ( The app provides DirecTV viewers nationwide with near-real-time crime data, including listings of local crime incidents and a map of that local criminal activity. "Using the new TV App, DirecTV customers will receive up-to-date details about actual crime incidents that have taken place, as well as real-time personal and property safety ratings for specific areas," SpotCrime founder and president, Colin Drane, said in a prepared statement. "Through our proprietary model, SpotCrime pulls crime incident data from multiple sources, including state and local police departments and validated news sources, to produce a comprehensive record of local crime information."

SpotCrime claims that the launch of its new interactive TV application on DirecTV means that its crime-mapping data now reaches over 80% of the US population--primarily through partnerships it has created with major media companies around the country, including Local TV LLC, Newport Television, Fisher Communications, Capitol Broadcasting Company, Hubbard Broadcasting Corporation and Nextar Broadcasting. Earlier this year, the company launched an iPhone app that allows users to view crime data by proximity of date, obtain detailed descriptions of the crimes it lists, and share information on crime incidents via email. The app also uses augmented reality to superimpose on the iPhone's camera viewer computer-generated imagery of crimes that have occurred in a specific location.

In other interactive TV applications news: A play-along application developed by Dublin, Ireland-based interactive TV apps specialist, emuse, for the Fox8 reality series, "Australia's Next Top Model," on the OpenTV-powered Foxtel pay-TV platform, has won the award for "Best Use of Interactive" at a technology awards program that was held as part of the recent ASTRA (Australian Subscription Television & Radio Association) conference. According to emuse, the app allowed viewers to play along with the show by answering a series of questions and taking part in a series of votes, all of which were synchronized with the show's content. Results and opinions generated by the app were made available on the "Australia's Next Top Model" Web and 3G sites, immediately after the show's broadcast.

The app was managed by Foxtel's production team, using emuse's Content Management System. According to emuse, it provided several sponsorship opportunities, allowing Fox8 to generate additional revenue from the show. "We are delighted the 'Play Along' application has been recognized by ASTRA" emuse COO, Dominic Laval, said in a prepared statement. "Foxtel have a clear commitment to producing quality interactive content and, as a result, when working with them we always have the opportunity to develop innovative applications. This award illustrates that emuse continues to enable leading interactive content and cross-platform advertising."