Found a few things over the weekend that I wanted to share before Google IO (@googleio) starts.
I found out about this from using the ABC Player for iPad, which is exactly what TV studios should be producing. The iPad’s use cases are still evolving, but the immediate ones tell us that the vast majority of iPad owners use it to consume content in the home.
Sounds like a TV.
Anyway, the studio peppers its shows on the app with self-promos for its other shows, including Grey’s Anatomy and its app. I don’t watch that show, but I had to watch the app. After about the tenth time seeing it, I finally paid enough attention to notice that the app syncs with the show as you watch.
This intrigued me enough to find that link from Mashable about how it works.
. . . powered by Nielsen’s Media-Sync Platform and will showcase interactive content in real time, based on what is happening on screen. Media-Sync technology works in conjunction with the microphone on the iPad to keep the app in sync with the show.
Using the audio watermarks that TV programs typically use for tracking TV ratings, the app can figure out where a viewer is in a program and offer up corresponding content on the iPad. This means that in addition to using the app when watching the show live, users can also use the app when watching on a time-shifted copy of the program or when fast-forwarding or rewinding the show.
Pretty clever. Mashable notes that an increasing number of people watch TV with another device, presumably to provide more interactivity. Most of the time, I’m watching TiVo, but when forced to watch live TV, I do sometimes use the iPad to avoid commercials.
Although I’m not sold on interacting with people watching the same show at the same time, I suppose it’s a valid use case. This app provides that for Grey’s Anatomy. Top Gear did something similar last season with Twitter. It’s likely to be common now.