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Related content app for YouView or Google TV

15 Apr 2011

There’s a lot of talk about what could be possible in the new exciting world of internet TV, but not a lot in the way of practical applications.

We created this prototype application that helps users find content related to whatever they are watching on television.

It works by using the Alchemy concept extraction API to search for keywords being mentioned in the subtitles of live television. The subtitles were made available as part of a beta from BBC R&D for DataArt.

It was inspired by a Backflip prototype which used the Google Translation API and Google Text-to-Speech API to translate BBC programmes into other languages on-the-fly. It uses the original Backflip Flash frontend.

[pullquote]The phone-in of the future is making its way to a screen near you whether you like it or not[/pullquote]

Although Apps for TV are yet to get going (there are virtually no platforms available that support them yet) you can be sure that you’ll be seeing more apps like this in the near future. Shopping apps with a ‘buy the ingredients for this recipe’ and betting apps that let you place micro-bets on football matches are likely to be some of the first applications. Useful apps that help you find similar programmes or related educational content hopefully won’t be far behind.

Social viewing applications are being touted by broadcasters as an important and likely future direction too. They hope it will allow them to retain the vital ‘buzz’ around their programmes – what they call ‘water-cooler conversation starters’ and ‘appointement to view’ TV which is a vital cheap way for them to promote their programmes and brand. Whether they’ll succeed in turning back the tide of on-demand TV is yet to be seen, but the phone-in of the future is making its way to a screen near you whether you like it or not.