Second-screen prototype hopes to boost couch commerce

Akamai Technologies' proof of concept offers complementary content to viewers

Akamai Technologies demonstrated a prototype second-screen system that presents complementary content on a smartphone or tablet that is synchronized with what's happening on the main television screen.

To see the system in action at the NAB Show, watch a video on YouTube.

First users would need to sync their mobile device with their television. Akamai showed this using a QR code that could be scanned by the user watching the television. Every program on TV has a timestamp and content ID, which allows the mobile device to display complementary content just at the right time for the consumer.

"It's something that can be synced in near-real time," said Kris Alexander, chief strategist of connected devices and gaming at Akamai Technologies. "By the time somebody looks down from the primary screen it seems like the second screen is in real time."

In the demonstration at the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas, Akamai showed the concept with some preloaded content that included a movie, television show and basketball game. When the movie showed an actor wearing sunglasses, the tablet displayed the model, price and link to buy the shades. During the basketball broadcast it offered up information on players who scored and an option to buy tickets.

"It's a lot easier to make content available that's not disruptive to the main screen," said Alexander.

There are other options to offer second-screen content, but they're not as elegant. For example, some television commercials encourage viewers to use the Shazam application to "listen" to the advertisement, which will in turn present users with additional content. Rather than pull the information, Akamai's concept offers a push model, which it thinks will be more enticing to viewers and advertisers.

Alexander said that the information would, in theory, be customized for each user. For example, once logged in and linked with a Facebook account, different users would get different information depending on their interests or recent status updates.

The Akamai Technologies demonstration used an HTML5 Web page so no stand-alone application was needed.

Alexander said that all of the technology is available now, but the company is waiting for content providers to partner with to develop it further. There are no immediate plans for commercialization.

Nick Barber covers general technology news in both text and video for IDG News Service. E-mail him at Nick_Barber@idg.com and follow him on Twitter at @nickjb.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags tabletshardware systemsconsumer electronicsentertainmentNABAkamai TechnologiesTVs

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nick Barber

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?