Yahoo Updates IntoNow for Expanded 'Second Screen' TV Watching

2 minute read
Barry Levine avatar

If you chronically watch TV with an iOS device in your lap, Yahoo is now offering more things to keep you busy with “second screen” interaction. On Monday, the technology giant released version 3.0 of its IntoNow program.

The new version, which is available for free for Apple iOS devices, offers several new features -- TV and Music Sync, CapIt and Group Chat.

TV and Music Sync

TV Sync provides what IntoNow determines is the most relevant content related to what’s on TV, including news stories, personalities, sports teams, songs, polls or trivia.

Music Sync automatically identifies songs playing during a show, whether it’s a live performance, featured song or even background music. Songs can be identified even if they are not by the original musical artist. Previously, the app had difficulty identifying a new version, or a too short excerpt, of a song.

Any identified song can then be one-click purchased on iTunes, or the user can view the accompanying music video on YouTube. IntoNow uses the patented SoundPrint technology, which has a large database that is being continually updated via live indexing of 160 U.S. TV channels. By scanning the audio of the show being watched, IntoNow can identify the show.

Learning Opportunities

CapIt, GroupChat

CapIt provides what Yahoo describes as “industry-first technology.” Users can tap a button and the app immediately shows still images of the program on TV. An image can then be captioned and shared with friends on Facebook, Twitter or IntoNow.

Adam Cahan, who started IntoNow in early 2011 and then, a few weeks later, sold it to Yahoo for about US$ 30 million, said that the company had noticed that it is not uncommon these days for TV watchers to take a low-res photo of a TV screen, such as with a smartphone, and share it with friends.

Group Chat offers the ability to create private conversations around a TV event, or it can be used to manage a recurring conversation about favorite shows throughout a season.

Yahoo estimates that about 80 percent of TV viewers use an iOS device as they watch. About three million users have downloaded the earlier versions of IntoNow.