Interactive TV News Round-Up (IV): metaio, Morpho, Telefonica, NDS, DOXTV, Philo, TNT

--metaio Powers Interactive Augmented Reality Cover Ad for Popular Science Magazine
--Morpho's ConnectSIM WLAN-Enabled SIM Card to Power Interactive TV for Telefonica
--NDS, DOXTV Team to Bring HD Push-VOD, DVR to China's Hainan Province
--Philo Teams with Shaquille O'Neal and TNT on Social-TV Promotion

Due to the large volume of news generated over the past two days, we are covering stories in this issue in summary/round-up format.

  • Popular Science Magazine has tapped Munich- and San Francisco-based augmented reality specialist, metaio, to power an interactive 3D AR cover ad for the Motorola Xoom tablet and Google's Honeycomb 3.0 operating system. "By simply holding the March issue cover, on newsstands today, up to a Web camera, iPhone or smartphone, users will be able to virtually preview the Xoom and discover its features and benefits by aiming the magazine at specific logos," Popular Science states in its press materials. "By moving the tablet icons back and forth on the corners of the screen, users will be able to interact with the device's 3D Google Maps app and YouTube interface...To enable the March cover, Popular Science utilized software specially developed by Munich/San Francisco-based company metaio. World leaders in the area of augmented reality technology, metaio's patented 'Unifeye Viewer' software for Web applications enables 3D animations to be integrated seamlessly into live-video streams of a webcam and respectively into pictures of the user's real environment. The 3D experience is also compatible with a smartphone. Users can download mobile AR browser junaio, and preview the 3D hologram of the tablet as well. Junaio's highly sophisticated image recognition and object tracking capabilities make it possible to recognize a print ad and call up additional digital content to delight the viewer and draw renewed attention to a sponsor's message."
  • Morpho, a provider of identification, detection and e-document solutions, has announced that its wireless local area network (WLAN)-enabled ConnectSIM SIM card will be used by Spain's Telefonica in a project that will "offer a SIM-based smart interactivity solution on WiFi multimedia devices such as TV's, tablets, set-top boxes and other connected devices. Telefonica will use the smart interactivity engine to develop new TV/video value-added services (e.g. enriched content delivery and smart advertising), to create a personalized service for every user value proposition or to help users overcome technology barriers," Morpho states in its press materials. "With Morpho's ConnectSIM, Telefonica will have a new enabler, on top of existing frameworks, creating a direct and secure channel between TV and customers. As a result, the personalization of the service will be targeted to the user's interests and therefore extremely efficient and valuable for companies developing services or using mobile advertising." Morpho explains how the solution will work as follows: "Most new TV's are Internet-capable (via WLAN/Ethernet) and enable multimedia ecosystems via DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance). Since ConnectSIM brings WiFi capability, independent of the handset, the devices will now be able to communicate with each other over a secure and direct channel and join the DLNA network. ConnectSIM authenticates users in front of their TV sets for Telefonica services. From that moment on, the TV identifies the person in front of it, and can offer personalized content according to the user's subscription or personal profile. For example, the user can receive ads on a mobile phone (through SMS, MMS, Wap Push...) or on the TV. For instance, if he or she is watching a documentary about Australia, adverts promoting flights to Australia can be displayed. ConnectSIM adds more interactivity to the TV experience, for example through voting, and leads to an increase in mobile traffic. Furthermore, it brings secure mobility to special TV subscriptions. This means that a user who has subscribed to a special interest program from Telefonica can also watch that program on another TV--ConnectSIM will identify the user and allow access to his or her subscription from any WiFi-enabled TV."
  • NDS has announced that it is working with Chinese TV service provider, DOXTV, to launch a range of advanced services, including HD push-VOD and DVR, for China Cable Network subscribers in Hainan province. "Hainan Cable have selected a host of NDS solutions including VideoGuard conditional access, MediaHighway set-top box software and XTV DVR technology with push-VOD functionality," NDS states in its press materials. "The operator is also deploying an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) developed by NDS and DOXTV. With consumers demanding more sophisticated TV viewing, NDS XTV DVR technology, already deployed in 35 million homes globally, will provide Hainan Cable subscribers with advanced functionality, including the ability to simultaneously record two programs or watch one whilst recording another and schedule to record an entire series with the ability to pause live TV and fast forward or rewind recorded content. XTV is already integrated with more than a dozen STB's and multiple chipset vendors, reducing the time to market and cost for operators...The partnership with NDS and DOXTV will bring 1,500 hours of HD content from major international studios, exclusive to DOXTV in China, to Hainan Cable through the new push-VOD service. DOXTV holds the rights to a broad array of blockbuster movies, popular series, and educational content--both international and local--in standard definition and HD."
  • Social-TV "check-in" company, Philo, contacted [itvt], Thursday, to let us know about a promotion its platform is powering this weekend: according to an email from a company representative, Philo has teamed with basketball star, Shaquille O'Neal and Turner-owned cable network, TNT, for "a virtual viewing party of the NBA's Sprite Slam Dunk Contest airing live on TNT on Saturday, February 19th at 8PM ET. TNT and Philo will reward viewers and fans for checking-in and interacting with Shaq and other fans during the live televised event on Philo or on Philo's widget housed on NBA.com," the email continues. "From the sidelines at Staples Center, Shaq will invite his over 3.5 million Twitter followers to tune in, where he will give a live play-by-play and chat live with fans of the NBA's annual All-Star event. Fans who 'check-in' to the show on Philo via its Web, iPhone, iPad or Android applications will also be able to unlock virtual awards, and be entered to win coveted prizes, such as one of Shaq's size 23 sneakers."
North America