AOL’s IM TV Patent


This patent granted last week to AOL may or may not fructify, but it is an interesting way to deliver TV to online IM users…

The gist of the patent # 6,754,904: a software that allows people to log on to Instant Messaging or chat rooms, call up a buddy list and see what TV shows their friends or even strangers are watching.

AOL refused to coment to NYT, but the patent suggests what the system would be like if AOL were to offer it: after showing subscribers what programs their I.M. buddies are watching, the software could switch their televisions to the same channel, either automatically or by giving them a link to click.

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