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Summary:

A new social TV app is launching, hoping to make it easier for users to share what they’re watching with friends. The trick is that IntoNow, which is launching today, is doing so with some state-of-the-art audio recognition technology and a deep index of TV shows.

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A new technology startup called IntoNow is looking to get into the social TV game, launching with an iOS app and some patented technology that can recognize what shows viewers are watching. By making it even easier for viewers to identify — and share — their favorite programming with their friends, IntoNow hopes to aggregate conversations around shows people love.

With a TV show on and the volume up, all a user has to do is click a button, and IntoNow’s patented SoundPrint technology will scan the audio to identify the show being watched. Typically within four to 12 seconds, the app will come back with an answer. That info is further enhanced with some deep metadata: Once a show has been identified, SoundPrint can also provide the episode and air date of a certain piece of TV content.

IntoNow does all this by searching through a huge index of content. The SoundPrint platform has more than 140 million minutes of broadcast TV indexed, which is equal to more that 266 years worth of content or 2.6 million airings. But in addition to all the legacy TV content that has been indexed, SoundPrint can also recognize live TV airings, as it is indexing 130 channels in real-time.

It’s pretty cool stuff, but like other social TV applications, IntoNow will need to reach critical mass before it becomes widely useful to most users. The problem is that social TV conversations are happening all over: on Twitter, Facebook and through various other platforms. And that’s not to mention the half-dozen or so social TV apps already on the market.

IntoNow is entering an increasingly crowded market for social TV applications that run on mobile devices and enable viewers to share what they’re watching. iOS and Android devices already have products like Miso, Philo, GetGlue, Tunerfish and even CBS’s TV.com Relay mobile web app available for users that want to “check in” to a given show, share in conversations with other fans and even win virtual rewards for doing so.

Of course, what IntoNow wants to do is the same thing all the other app makers want to do as well: be the go-to place for conversations about TV on mobile devices. The big difference between those apps and IntoNow’s just-launched iOS app is the latter comes with some pretty killer technology for recognizing shows users are watching.

IntoNow doesn’t plan to stop with its iOS app, as it’s already working on an Android app and could follow with other mobile devices in the near future. But what it really wants to do is integrate its SoundPrint technology into connected TVs and other devices, where it would use the audio out line to automatically register what shows viewers are watching. That could open up new capabilities, such as providing interactive and highly targeted advertising when users “opt in” to learning more about an ad.

Former Auditude CEO Adam Cahan is leading the new venture, which was spun out of Auditude as part of its latest round of funding. The company is backed by Greylock Partners and Redpoint Ventures, and currently has seven employees working on the platform.

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  1. Cracking this code at scale is the missing link in Social TV ( and all ITV efforts). It will take now silo-ed, limited connectivity and make it ubiquitous — any program to any app to any social network. Spot411 has been trying a similar concept. I have written extensively about such TV context middleware to enable “coactive TV” for nearly a decade (teleshuttle.com/CoTV). The world seems to be primed for this. Good luck. If IntoNow doesn’t make it, someone else will (maybe even the MSO’s will decide to play and let others play as well, by exposing EBIF or at least basic program ID and time code).

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  2. [...] IntoNow launched an iOS app earlier this year that uses an audio fingerprinting technology called SoundPrint to identify and check into the TV show you’re watching. Essentially, it uses the iPads or iPhone’s microphone to listen to the audio of your TV speakers, matches this information with a large database of shows and then offers the ability to check into that show on Twitter, Facebook or IntoNow’s own social network. [...]

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  3. [...] IntoNow launched an iOS app earlier this year that uses an audio fingerprinting technology called SoundPrint to identify and check into the TV show you’re watching. Essentially, it uses the iPad’s or iPhone’s microphone to listen to the audio of your TV speakers, matches this information with a large database of shows, then offers the ability to check into that show on Twitter, Facebook or IntoNow’s own social network. [...]

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