Samsung Holds Contest to Encourage Development of Interactive TV Apps for its Connected-TV Devices
--Launches Free, Exclusive "ESPN Next Level" App, Reveals Plans to Launch 3D Movie Trailer App
Samsung is inviting developers to visit a dedicated Web site, http://www.freethetvchallenge.com, to register for the contest. In order to be eligible to participate in the contest, developers must reside in the US and must submit their app, together with a video that demonstrates how it works, to Samsung by November 11th. The contest is being administered by Challenge Post and entries will be judged by Roelof Botha of Sequoia, Mike Maples of Floodgate, Bob Borchers of Opus Capital, and Jeremy Levine of Bessemer. Entries will be judged on the quality of the idea that underlies them, their functional implementation and their visual appeal, Samsung says. The contest will also feature a "People's Choice Award," in which consumers will cast votes online. The winner of the contest will be announced at CES in January, and Samsung says that it will make available in Samsung Apps "select applications" generated by the contest. In order to support developers interested in entering the contest, Samsung is launching a series of Free the TV Developer Days, where it says developers will receive hands-on demos of the Samsung Apps platform and a tutorial on the Samsung SDK, and will also be able to participate in a Q&A session with Samsung engineers: the first Developer Day is scheduled for August 31st, and will take place at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, CA. It will be keynoted by Pandora founder, Tim Westergren.
Samsung says that it expanded Samsung Apps' line-up Wednesday with various free apps, as well as with premium apps that offer a range of sports, casual gaming, weather and family-oriented content. Among the new offerings is the free ESPN Next Level app, which is exclusive to Samsung: according to the company, the app contains four main sections that respectively allow viewers to access in-depth information on sports events and players in the news; predictive picks of the day's games across all major sports; data and analysis from the ESPN Research team; and insights on statistics from Peter Keating, senior writer at ESPN: The Magazine. In addition, Samsung says, an ESPN ScoreCenter app--based on the mobile app of the same name--will launch in Samsung Apps in the fall. Samsung's other content partners for Samsung Apps include Blockbuster, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Pandora, Twitter, USA Today and Vudu.