Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): SMK, Movea, Softel, Taboola

--SMK Europe Integrates Movea Gesture-Recognition Tech into New RemoPad Remote Control
--Softel Publishes Guide to Subtitling and Captioning in Complex Workflows
--Video Recommendations Company, Taboola, Raises $9 Million in New Funding

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us several days to catch up with all the recent news: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us.

  • SMK Europe has launched a remote control for cable, satellite and IPTV operators that integrates Movea's SmartMotion technology. "Movea's advanced motion-sensing technologies enable the RemoPad to use gesture recognition that simplifies navigating through the user interface, reduces the button count of traditional remotes, and offers a more natural, intuitive way to interact with next-generation TV services," the company states in its press materials. "As the world leader in the development and production of remote control solutions, SMK has partnered with Movea to drive technology and create control devices for the new wave of set-top boxes (STB's) and interactive TV services. Through product demonstrations and discussions with service providers and STB suppliers, SMK is reinforcing its commitment to integrate motion sensing with advanced pointing devices that deliver the vision of motion-driven UI's for navigating digital media. Movea's SmartMotion technology, perfected and commercially proven with more than 20 years of development, ensures jitter-free, pixel-accurate control with smooth and precise movement that is as simple and intuitive to use as 'point and click.' Advanced gesture recognition is also available for an even more interactive user experience. Libraries of gestures can enable remote controls with custom gestures to interact with content and applications, as well as air signature authentication for each member of the family which loads up a personalized set of favorite stations and preferences, as well as enabling targeted advertising and more." SMK plans to demo the RemoPad in its booth (Stand 1.C90) at IBC 2011.
  • Softel, a provider of technologies for interactive TV playout, subtitling and captioning, MPEG stream processing and multiplexing, opt and ad insertion cuing and Teletext, contacted [itvt] last week to let us know that it has published a guide, entitled "Subtitling and Captioning in File-Based Workflows," that it says explains how to simplify the complexity of multilingual subtitling and captioning processes delivered across multiple channels and platforms. "With step-by-step practical guidance and two case studies from Turner UK and The Mill, this new Softel guide explains how feature-rich subtitling and captioning software can enhance productivity, while reducing operational costs within next-generation workflows," the company states in its press materials.
  • Taboola, a New York-based provider of video recommendation engines (note: the company was founded in 2007 by a team of veteran Israel National Security Agency researchers who it says "leverag[ed] years of advanced practical mathematical research experience" in order to develop its technology), said Monday that it has secured $9 million in B-round capital investments, bringing its total investor funding to $15 million. The funding round was led by Crescent Point, which has also invested in Chinese online video site,, and by existing investor, Evergreen VC. Taboola also said Monday that it is now generating a quarter-billion recommendations per day, for such partners as Bloomberg, the New York Times, USA Today, CNN and Hearst. "Taboola's technology helps online publishers maximize video views, video revenue and user satisfaction by presenting highly targeted personalized video recommendations to site visitors," the company states in its press materials. "Similar to how an or generates product recommendations to users, Taboola's advanced personalization technology uses semantic and behavioral algorithms to predict and recommend videos users are most likely to want to watch next--all as the user reads an article, visits a site's homepage, or watches a video...Publishers place Taboola's widgets on their home pages, story pages, section front pages, video pages or within a video player to help increase video views and high CPM revenue...Taboola typically increases CTR and video views by 2x-3x for sites such as or's technology is integrated with the leading online video players (OVP's), including Ooyala and Brightcove [see the article published on, November 2nd, 2009], which simplifies implementation for publishers. A sample integration of Taboola into a Brightcove player can be seen trailing each video on the NYTimes video pages."
North America