The “Second Screen” app is a promising business platform that both Yahoo! IntoNow and Zeebox are racing to grab most users. As viewers increasingly watch their TV programs with an additional device on their laps, in particular tablet for online activities. “Second Screen” app can serve additional relevant information or social discussion in real time related to contents been watched. And obviously, additional advertisements, e-commerce offerings can be overlaid within the app as revenue stream to the platform owner.
As one of the most innovative Web property, Yahoo just updated its IntoNow app to version 3.0 for iPhone and iPad and Android. IntoNow is capable of recognizing the TV show you’re watching on your regular Television, through an audio fingerprint signature, the app matches to its database. The app then serves up related additional meterials about the show on your tablet screen and allows frictionless sharing/ interacting with your social networks. The recognition of what been watched is a nice touch, even though, in my experience, I had to leave the couch to get close to the audio source for the feature to work. However, nowadays, people tend to watch more recorded shows from DVR. IntoNow still works serving additional insights minus real-time interaction.
The app also introduces a discovery feature to popular shows in live, last 24hr, last week, last 30 days or all time… so you don’t have to watch first and activate the app.
The new version brings Retina display support; fun CaptIt feature; recognition of the music playing and group chat with friends for your favorite shows.
With Capit feature, the app presents small thumbnails of still shots taken from the show and let users write caption over before sharing as seen in the below screenshot.
Similar to IntoNow is Zeebox, the service was launched first in the UK and just debuted in the US. Zeebox, available on iPhone, iPad and on Android and the Web, is a combination of TV guide and social interaction along with related media material serving.
You first provide your location and pick your TV service provider and optionally connect with Twitter and Facebook. You then will be presented by 3 tabs: What’s Hot; TV Guide and Activity. The TV Grid Guide is a nice and convenient feature that helps you to select what is on live and upcoming shows.
Selecting any show will reveal news, info, social activities and Live Zeetags, which are similar to Hashtag to narrow your search focus. The service offers its own chat without the need to have a Twitter account. The interface is using the sliding panes that is quite intuitive.