Turning the TV Set into a Touch Screen - with junaio
Munich, Germany and San Francisco, California, January 26, 2011 - Yesterday was a historic day for television. For the first time ever, viewers could actively participate in a live television show and react to things shown on the TV screen by simply using a smartphone and the Augmented Reality browser junaio. The occasion was a live quiz of the popular German science show ProSieben "Galileo" and it was just like having a TV set with a touch screen. Pointing the phone's camera at the displayed choice of answers and clicking on one of the options was all that was needed to get instant feedback on whether the viewer's choice was right and how well he was doing compared to others. This interesting breakthrough technology could open up many new opportunities for news networks and popular shows like "American Idol".
The idea of interactive television with viewers being able to cast their vote in real time, to transmit their opinion or to participate in a quiz show has been around for decades. To date though, popular entertainment shows were only able to offer a very limited form of viewer participation by having viewers send text messages or using batteries of call centers. Now, for the first time everybody was able to actively participate in a bi-directional communication, provided he had a smartphone available, and junaio, which can be downloaded for free at the Apple iPhone App Store or the Android Marketplace.
Different from any normal feedback app, the AR image recognition assures that only those actually seeing the show can participate. It is not hard to imagine the different opportunities this technology opens up. The trick during the "Galileo" quiz was to point the smartphone camera directly at the choice of alternative responses displayed on the TV screen. junaio uses a technology called digital image recognition. The scanned screen image triggers communication with the station's server via Internet and thus establishes a bi-directional transmission of information. With just a click on the touch screen of the smartphone the viewer's response is transmitted. Results are displayed instantly, both at the station's end and on the smartphone. The viewer then sees immediately whether his answer was right or wrong, which percentage of viewers answered correctly and how many questions he has gotten right himself so far.
The public showed great interest in this technology. The number of junaio downloads was staggering, and for ProSieben "Galileo", who advertised the show well in advance, it was a huge success. "Galileo" was number one in German twitter trends and ratings shot up to 14% in market share among 14 to 49 year old viewers. ProSieben is committed to continue integrating such Augmented Reality services in future shows. Yesterday's experiment can be considered a first important step towards truly interactive television, offering a simple and elegant solution to instant user feedback and messaging without requiring any special and complicated equipment.
"Viewer polling is one thing", says Peter Meier, CTO of metaio, the developers of junaio. "Another idea could be to offer films or documentaries based on the audience's spontaneous choice. Or to make additional information available, such as a chef's recipe, and transmit it at a viewer's request directly onto his smartphone. News networks can take an instant temperature check of viewer attitudes. Someone on Twitter already suggested using this for the popular show 'American Idol'. Breakthrough technologies such as junaio will provide the media industry with entirely new possibilities of user interaction."
Check out this video link: http://www.prosieben.de/tv/galileo/videos/clip/145361-galileo-smart-erklaervideo-engl-1.2351445/
junaio is metaio's mobile Augmented Reality platform that allows users and developers the ability to create content channels in the real world. Users can flip through channels like entertainment, nightlife, travel and many others and see information digitally displayed around by simply pointing their phone. With junaio's open API, developers can create state of the art Augmented Reality applications. junaio is available as a version for the iPhone and for Android. The Android version includes natural feature tracking which allows image recognition and thus totally new fields of applications, especially in the consumer market. For more information, please visit: http://www.junaio.com.