Using the TiVipedia app, which draws on semantic analysis of television content, TV viewers can access additional information on the programme they are watching, in real time on their smartphones.
The Digiworld Yearbook 2014, published recently by digital economy think tank IDATE, predicts that in the television business there will in the near future no longer be any distinction between traditional suppliers and Over-the-Top (OTT) suppliers. All providers will simply have to adapt to the demands of their customers, who will increasingly be calling for more customised products and services. Paris-based startup TiVine Technologies, which was founded a year ago, has well understood this imminent upheaval in the TV world and is already offering viewers a brand-new experience. TiVine was one of the shortlisted candidates for a prize at the Grand Prix "Printemps Numérique", (‘Digital Spring’) day which took place on 5 June in Compiègne, in northern France. The company has made its TiVipedia app available for Android and iOS devices free of charge. The idea is to enhance the user’s TV experience by supplying information and services additional to the programme being watched, which are not directly accessible on the screen. “Everybody has questions they would like to ask when they’re watching television and today technology allows us to offer a service which can be customised to the TV viewer,” underlines TiVine Technologies co-founder and CEO Nicolas Mercouroff.
Semantic analysis and predictive research
With the TiVipedia app you can watch a TV programme and receive additional content on your smartphone such as a biography of the person presenting the programme, statistics on the players in a match, details of the accessories worn by a performer, etc. Owners of Freebox – an ADSL modem that the French Internet service provider Free offers to its ADSL subscribers – can even access a virtual remote control device which allows them to switch and navigate more intuitively between different programmes. The app provides rich, full content in real time using a predictive research system based on automated 24-7 detection of information given on all the television channels, plus aggregation of relevant services. The company has developed the technology itself, based on semantic analysis, one of Nicolas Mercouroff’s specialist fields. You can also buy, directly with just a few clicks, products you see on the TV screen. TiVine Technologies’ business model is to earn revenue from commissions on sales and sponsored messages matched to the content provided.
Meeting consumer needs
In May 2013, TiVine Technologies carried out a survey among French and US TV audiences, and put the results together in a discussion paper entitled: ‘Television: What are the expectations? What are the needs?’ It turns out that TV audiences most often want to identify people – programme anchors, guests and performers – and objects shown in a broadcast, plus also the music used. The trend observed among TV audiences, and more widely among consumers in general, is to want more – more information and more content, without having to make any special effort, such as a meandering, tiresome search on the Internet. “There really is a need, in fact it’s more of an expectation, to be able to obtain an immediate response with a simple click,” stresses Nicolas Mercouroff. The success of the TiVipedia app, which has taken off through word-of-mouth recommendations, is proof of this. A number of apps developed by startups are riding the crest of this wave at the moment, including Reminiz, which allows users to take a photo of a celebrity on any medium and rapidly find information on the person; and the Wheretoget site, which specialises in searching for clothes. On 12 June TiVine Technologies launched a special app to assist and augment TV viewing during the World Cup football tournament.