SeeSpace's InAiR Kickstarting Augmented TV experience

written by: Richard Kastelein

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seespacelogoNew hardware called InAIR from a startup called SeeSpace has moved far past their original $100,000 goal, raising more than $158,000 on Kickstarter and will now go into production of their product InAIR, which is set to cost $99, works by plugging directly into any television through its “smart” HDMI cable that then connects to a set top box.

InAiR brings you a truly Augmented TV experience

With InAir plugged in, your TV becomes an Augmented Television. You can turn any ordinary television into a new and wonderful medium, filled with rich and dynamic information from the Web. InAiR uses your TV screen and layers in additional content from the Web and social media.

InAir works with any standard television. And InAir works with any 3D TV.

When activated in 3D mode, the layers of Internet content appear to be positioned in front of the screen and can be dynamically manipulated by the viewer. These foreground layers of information appear to be holograms, and floating "in air" (and this is where our name came from).

 

The following video will allow you to get a glimpse of the 3D vision of the product, where the interface and content appears in layers in front of the screen. You can select a preferred 3D method by clicking the settings button on the lower right of the screen. This demo can be viewed in anaglyphic mode using common red/cyan 3D glasses, or you can view in the "side by side" method on a 3D TV. 

InAir 3D Demo with Sound


But is is important to note that the same dynamic, layered experience can work in 2D mode on any television. The interface and UX of inAiR were designed to simulate dimension whether that experience space is "inside" the TV (in 2D mode) or extended into the room (in 3D mode).

Are you frequently using your laptop and television at the same time? Many of us are multi-tasking: watching TV, and at the same time surfing the Web for information, purchasing things online and communicating on social networks. By designing a centralized platform, InAiR creates a single viewing experience.

What can InAiR do?

InAiR intelligently identifies what you are watching on TV, automatically gathers relevant Internet and social content, and then processes and places these layers of Web information in front of your TV screen in real time, on demand. InAiR can use the vast amount of readily available free content on the Internet to enrich your viewing experience at launch.

Examples of InAiR content

This example demonstrates how InAiR can take an existing mobile app (Formula 1) and ports it into your InAiR viewing space. You can watch important information such as positions of the cars, live timing, and onboard camera, inline with the main program. and you don't have to look up and and down between the TV and mobile screens.

How do you navigate InAir content?

You can navigate InAiR content in a number of ways:

1. Touch gestures: simple swipes on your mobile device

The InAiR app will be available for free on iOS, Android and Windows, allowing you to turn your smartphone, tablet or smart watch into a remote control. The screen of your device acts like a trackpad and simple gestures will allow you to navigate the InAiR content presented in 3D or in 2D, without having to look at the mobile screen in your hand.

2. Hand gestures: when paired with Kinect or Leap Motion, hand gestures can be used to manipulate the content onscreen, providing a Minority Report-like experience.

Easy set up

InAiR also offers a wifi functionality that automatically connects to your existing wifi network. You do not need to own a “Smart TV” - even a traditional non-connected TV can connect to the Internet and receive additional content via InAiR’s wifi capability.

InAiR is powered via its USB connection to your set-top box, so there is no need for an extra electrical outlet nearby.

For developers

A great deal of information is, of course, freely available on the open Internet for pairing with your TV viewing.

But also, with the API, you will be able to view additional premium content via the developer community. The API/SDK was created to help application developers easily create content that is best suited for our InAiR interaction space. No more separate app developments for each different TV platform out there. With InAiR, you develop once and your app will work with any TV on the market.

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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