Orange unveils TV Check app

Orange unveils TV Check app

Via Guardian

Social app hopes to emulate GetGlue, IntoNow and Miso with Foursquare-style check-ins used for TV viewing.

The latest company looking to bring Foursquare-style check-ins to TV viewing is Orange, with an app called TV Check. It was shown off at the MIPTV show in Cannes by the telco’s VP of digital innovation and communities Patrice Slupowski.

The app, which was demonstrated on an iPhone, enables TV viewers to check in to the shows that they are watching, earning points and badges if they do it regularly. The app taps into Facebook’s social graph to also help users connect with their friends and recommend programmes. It is initally available in France.

Slupowski showed a feature that involves checking in to a show simply by pointing the iPhone’s camera at the TV, and also hinted that the keenest fans of shows may get their 15 seconds of fame. « People can expect that they will be featured in the shows they like, » he said.

No release date was given for the app, which will face competition from existing apps including GetGlue, IntoNow and Miso, which all offer similar check-in based social features for TV viewers. GetGlue in particular has signed a number of deals with broadcasters to offer branded virtual « stickers » – its equivalent of Foursquare’s badges – to fans who check in to their shows regularly.

Slupowski was appearing on a MipTV panel about multiplatform apps and social TV, which covered smartphones, tablets and connected TV apps, as well as websites where viewers can play along with game shows in real-time.

Endemol’s director of digital gaming business development David Jullien talked about its playalong website for The Million Pound Drop, which aired for two series in the UK in 2010. At its peak, 189,000 people were playing along online at once – 8.6% of the TV audience. Over six shows in the second series, 785,000 unique users played along, with an average dwell time of 27 minutes.

« We really want to put connected features inside a show – inside its DNA, » said Jullien, explaining that second-screen interactivity will now be a core element in new shows made by Endemol, as it also looks to add them on to its existing formats. « What we want to do with Big Brother, and we started testing this last week in France, is to allow people to give live polls and opinions. »

Samsung’s head of content services in Europe Daniel Saunders also talked about his company’s plans to make apps and second-screen features key selling points for its 2011 range of HDTV sets. This year, Samsung’s connected TVs will have Twitter and Facebook apps running « side by side with linear broadcast », which Saunders described as a first for the industry.

He also said Samsung will launch connected TVs with twin tuners and local streaming features this year too. « They will allow you to watch one channel on your big screen, while channel-hopping or browsing other channels on your tablet or smartphone.« 


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