Zeebox adds content recognition via Gracenote

Popular social TV app Zeebox will soon be able to automatically recognise what a viewer is watching and deliver a synchronised second-screen experience across live or time-shifted TV thanks to the integration of audio fingerprinting technology from US firm Gracenote.

Zeebox will use the Gracenote Entourage Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology to identify what programme a user is watching, allowing it to automatically provide additional information, votes and polls, tweets, presence and transactional opportunities, all synchronised to the programme being viewed.

“People love Zeebox’s programme discovery, TV remote control and interactive second-screen experiences,” said Anthony Rose, co-founder and CTO at Zeebox. “Today that experience is focused on live television. Gracenote technology will allow us to take Zeebox to the next level, providing that great interactive and synchronised Zeebox experience for both live and recently PVR’d content.”

Zeebox is available on iOS and Android devices, and on PCs and Macs. It provides users with a more social, interactive experience when watching live TV by combining a powerful “Zeetags” engine which generates clickable tags based on names, subjects and products mentioned during a TV show, live chat with friends, an overview of social media activity around the programme, and access to additional information.

Founded by former EMI executive Ernesto Schmitt and former BBC iPlayer CTO Anthony Rose in 2011, the startup has already received strategic investments from UK broadcaster BSkyB and met with considerable success in its home market, racking up 1mn downloads already (although no figures are available for actual usage).

Gracenote is a wholly-owned, independent subsidiary of the Sony Corporation of America (SCA), and has offices in Tokyo, Munich, Berlin, Seoul, and Taipei with worldwide headquarters in Emeryville, California.

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