The Syfy channel is celebrating the season 3 premiere of Defiance--a sci-fi drama set on a dystopian Earth inhabited by both aliens and humans--with the launch of the Syfy Sync app for LG's WebOS smart TVs.
The new TV app enables the kind of interactive experiences we have come to associate with second-screen apps on the TV itself. Accessible through a broadcast graphic-style overlay in the top left corner of the screen, it supplies the viewers with trivia, interactive polls and other tidbits related to the show at hand.
This additional content is delivered in lockstep with on-screen action. The key to synchronizing these interactive experiences with what's on TV is automatic content recognition (ACR) using video-fingerprinting technology from Cognitive Networks.
But recognizing on-screen action is only half the battle; the other half is delivering contextual content to the TV screen as that action unfolds. That duty falls to Watchwith's in-program engagement platform, which is what powers the overlay and coordinates the various interactive features with live or time-shifted TV in real time.
The impact on you at home: Regardless of whether they're accessible through a second device or in form of TV overlays, apps like Syfy Sync and the experiences they enable are not for everyone--they're definitely not for purists who like to sit back and watch TV without distraction. But if you're someone who just can't seem to get enough of their favorite shows, this might just be a great way to indulge your obsession.