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Flingo, one of the world's largest publisher of Smart TV apps, today announced an all-new TV experience with the launch of Samba. Unlike other interactive TV platforms, Samba is available on any screen: the TV, phone, tablet or PC, all instantly synchronized with live TV shows — eliminating the need to download an app or log in. As the viewer flips through channels, Samba automatically recommends related online videos or similar TV programs, and generates real-time information and social media discussions about the TV program currently playing. The integration of Samba directly into the TV or set-top box also enables interactive TV features like check-ins, tweets, polls, quizzes, cast and crew information, special offers from the device or directly on the TV itself controlled via the remote.
"Samba makes Smart TVs even smarter by providing an integrated second screen experience," said Peter Erdman, Vice President of consumer electronics, Hisense USA. "Our customers have told us that they want more content choices and control over the entertainment experience. With Samba, Hisense immediately has a powerful tool to bring together phones, tablets and TVs, and the foundation to make the whole home smarter and more connected in the future."
Although second screen platforms have been announced to meet growing demand () they typically rely on automatic content recognition (ACR) technology using a microphone from second screen devices to identify broadcast content playing on the TV. In comparison, Flingo's recommendation technology can identify related content while watching live broadcast TV content within a few seconds. Samba makes watching TV more fun and engaging because viewers can discover this content on the TV or mobile device, and instantly share their favorites with friends.
"Samba provides Haier sophisticated software technology and an integrated second screen experience," said Aywin Zhou, General Manager of Platform and Services at Haier. "Our customers are seeking a powerful television experience whether they're watching live sports, primetime television or blockbuster movies. With Samba, Haier customers have everything from recommendations, what's trending on social media, and information about the show and cast at their fingertips on the TV and on the second screen."
Flingo has fueled development of the Samba platform with its $8M Series A round which has been used to develop its core technology, infrastructure and relationships with the leading device manufacturers and broadcasters worldwide. Flingo investors include leading venture capital firm August Capital, world renowned entrepreneur Mark Cuban, technology investors, Gary Lauder, VIA Capital, and Passport Capital, founder of Rackspace Richard Yoo, founder of Summize (Twitter's search engine) Jay Virdy, angel investors Tom McInerney, James Hong and others.
"We saw a surge of Smart TV and tablet adoption in 2012, but realized that a seamless TV experience across all screens was missing," said Ashwin Navin, CEO and co-founder of Flingo. "Samba will blur the lines between linear television and the Web, in a way that empowers the viewers, giving them an unprecedented viewing experience."
Flingo will be demonstrating Samba in Las Vegas, NV at CES 2013 in the Central Hall (booth 15239).