Flingo Debuts Samba at CES 2013

written by: Richard Kastelein

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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).

 

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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