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Yahoo purchased Intonow, a three month old startup, born in January 2011 - in April 2011 for a rumoured 20-30 million USD.
In a nutshell, IntoNow identifies what people are watching, whether live or recorded; shows related content and personalized recommendations; and enables discussions with friends.
It uses audio fingerprinting technology to identify TV clips in real-time using the TV sound, and with the help of Yahoo’s CORE, IntoNow is able to contextualise and connect the live TV show with stories on Yahoo that are relevant. The technology originated at Auditude, but the app was spun out as its own entity. The app analyzes what it’s hearing from your video source for four to 12 seconds, sends it off to some huge server farm that stores massive amounts of content, identifies the show and where you are on the timeline and then delivers back related content in the form of relevant tweets, news headlines, and even sport stats when applicable. IntoNow has over 2.6 million airings — spanning everything that’s been on TV in the past five years — in its massive database of audio signatures (250+ years worth of shows), and all of this is used to help identify new content.
IntoNow also has a social aspect... It is possible to connect to your Twitter so that you can see what your friends are saying about a TV show that you are watching now. If you think of it, these are people that you may not be following all the time, but you can all (virtually) bond for the duration of an event/show.
"IntoNow launched early this year as a smartphone app that allows users to “check in” to the TV shows they’re watching and interact with friends about the content; the app also lets users “unlock” special content and freebies if they check into certain TV commercials they watch."
..."The IntoNow app for smartphones is already pretty popular — Yahoo claims it has more than 1.6 million downloads on Android and iPhone — so the iPad launch could prove to be a strong move. Similar apps such as Yap.tv and Shazam are already on the iPad, so IntoNow is not without competition. But Yahoo does have years worth of relationships with big media companies and advertisers, so IntoNow is well-positioned for success in the space."
Techcrunch also reported on the new app:
... Similar apps such as Yap.tv and Shazam are already on the iPad, so IntoNow is not without competition. But Yahoo does have years worth of relationships with big media companies and advertisers, so IntoNow is well-positioned for success in the space.
IntoNow for iPad, explained product manager Adam Cahan in a demonstration of the application, is taking closed captioning data and analyzing it using Yahoo Core technology, the company’s personalization and optimization engine. It then works to understand show content and context, matches that information against current news items, and surfaces results in the right-hand sidebar of the application.
Image from Lost Remote
In a press event, Founder of Intonow Adam Cahan, now a Yahoo executive, referred to the process as ambient-style computing, and said that IntoNow will focus on this technology to better answer the question of “what’s next?” in the second-screen entertainment environment.
"This technology actually understands the 'aboutness' of the show," Cahan said. "He showed the app automatically pulling up a list of Yahoo news content related to a story airing on CNN about an airplane making an emergency landing in Warsaw, Poland. The app also uses its knowledge of the show to find relevant Twitter conversations.
The IntoNow iPad app is free and available now.