Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): HSN, Intel, Intrasonics, Ball State University

CTAM 2011 iTV Idol Intrasonics

--HSN Enables Second-Screen tCommerce via QR Codes
--Intel to Close its Digital Home Group
--ACR-Based Interactive TV Company, Intrasonics, Launches SDK
--Ball State University Center for Media and Design in ACR Partnership with Intrasonics

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.

  • Multiplatform retailer, HSN (which has a history of pioneering interactive TV/tcommerce in the US), debuted Quick Response (QR) codes as a tcommerce mechanism on its HSN HD channel during its recent Innovation Weekend (October 7th-10th). "Reaffirming its position as a leader in transactional innovation, HSN will be the first ever retailer to use QR codes on-air during the three-day special event," the network states in its press materials. "These QR codes will be featured on HSN's HD channel which currently reaches approximately 43 million households. The event will include hundreds of products, each with its own QR code. When scanned from the television screen, the customer will be able to access the product information page on their mobile device, learn more about the product and purchase with ease." Said HSN's EVP of digital commerce, Jill Braff: "Innovation is an integral part of our company, whether it's the innovative products we present or the groundbreaking ways we use on-air QR codes to engage and interact with our customers. Women turn to HSN's trusted experts to educate and empower them to make informed purchases. Top electronics brands like Sony, Microsoft and Samsung recognize the power of HSN to introduce new technologies and we look forward to the products they will be debuting during our Innovation Weekend event."
  • Intel plans to close its Digital Home Group, whose CE4100 Atom processor powers such connected-TV devices as the Boxee Box, the Logitech Revue and Sony's Google TV products. The company will now focus its efforts in the TV space on chips for pay-TV set-top boxes and residential gateways. NewTeeVee's Janko Roettgers has more.
  • Cambridge, UK-based automatic content recognition (ACR) company, Intrasonics, has announced the launch of a software development kit (SDK). "The SDK allows content owners and brands to build compelling engagement with their audiences by enabling consumers to interact with the big screen using apps on the second screen," the company states in its press materials. "Intrasonics is the innovative leader in a broadcast audio watermarking technology that allows this seamless interaction with mobile devices. The SDK allows brands to create mobile applications which respond to hidden codes in audio broadcasts, triggering actions on consumers' smartphones and tablets and providing vital audience data. For example, viewers now have the ability to play along on the second screen with TV quizzes or vote in contests. Brands, networks or shows can run a loyalty program that rewards loyal viewers." Said Intrasonics CEO, Luc Jonker: "Broadcast TV has always been about eyeballs to the screen and the future will increasingly be about engaging with viewers on the second screen. Our technology allows viewers to engage directly with broadcast content, making them part of the action through immersive, interactive viewing experiences. At the same time, we help shows and brands measure what the viewers are doing. As the brands we're currently working with are already finding, our new SDK makes it incredibly easy to develop engaging applications which interact seamlessly and effectively with broadcast content. It's now really up to the creatives to design what kind of interaction they want; the platform allows them that freedom." Intrasonics was a finalist in CTAM's 2nd annual "iTV Idol" contest, which took place in New York last week: The iTV Doctor's video of the company's entry is embedded above.
  • In related news: Ball State University's Center for Media Design (CMD) contacted [itvt] last week to let us know that Intrasonics is making its new SDK available to it for testing and application development. "The first students at Ball State to use the kit are members of CMD's ITV design and development team, a group of students and faculty developing interactive news, entertainment and advertising for a variety of platforms," Ball State states in its press materials. "Team members are developing second-screen apps for iPhones and iPads as well as other multimedia devices. Insight and Research is assisting with usability testing of television and mobile device interfaces created from this project, as part of its Viewing+ research exploring consumer attitudes and behaviors in ITV and other emerging media." Said Michael Holmes, director of the CMD's Insight and Research unit: "Applications on mobile devices are an important new form of interactive television, so it's crucial Ball State students have an opportunity to master the development tools for such apps. Interactive TV is in its early growth stages in the US. We need to prepare media students for the ITV future now, and we need to provide meaningful research to the TV industry to help professionals understand the impact of ITV on the viewer experience. Our Viewing+ initiative addresses both of these goals."

North America