A new technology startup called IntoNow is looking to get into the social TV game, launching with an iOS (s aapl) 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 (s goog) devices already have products like Miso, Philo, GetGlue, Tunerfish and even CBS’s TV.com Relay mobile web app (s cbs) 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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