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What ARE You Watching? TVSync Offers an Equivalent to Shazam for Video Content

Photo of Alison Willmore By Alison Willmore | Indiewire August 15, 2012 at 3:35PM

Remember Shazam, the smartphone app that "listened" to a song and then identified it for you using audio recognition technology? Well, according to GigaOM, a company named Vobile has just launched a new platform for app developers called TVSync that aims to do the same for television content using a combination of audio and visual recognition via your device's camera. It's technology that owes its origins to copyright needs:
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Vobile

Remember Shazam, the smartphone app that "listened" to a song and then identified it for you using audio recognition technology? Well, according to GigaOM, a company named Vobile has just launched a new platform for app developers called TVSync that aims to do the same for television content using a combination of audio and visual recognition via your device's camera. It's technology that owes its origins to copyright needs:

Vobile is best known in the online video business for its content protection work; the site provides several mainstream and adult video and file hosting sites with video recognition and filtering solutions that are supposed to prevent the upload of unlicensed content. It also works with major broadcasters to fingerprint content. Now, it is taking this kind of technology to a new area: The tablets and phones that consumers use while watching TV.

TVSync is the latest foray into a second screen viewer experience, in which addition content can be provided to your mobile device as you watch something, so that you can check into shows via social apps, vote in interact elements, be given access to supplementary material or just figure out what's playing on the TV at the bar.

TVSync's an open platform, but one that's intended for developers and broadcasters rather than for consumers -- you can't buy it as an app yourself yet, but can look for it powering future programs. And as for Shazam, its expanding and also shifting its focus to second screen apps, where it hopes to provide TV-focused content based on audio recognition as you watch something.

While whether to allow texting and cellphone use in cinemas has become a huge source of debate and, for many, a foreboding sign of the crumbling of the traditional moviegoing experience, television, with its small groups of or solo viewers, is embracing the simultaneous use of a secondary device.

So what percentage of your TV viewing, on average, involves a second screen? Or do you prefer an uninterrupted single screen experience?

This article is related to: Television, TV News, Shazam, TVSync, Second Screen