Sunday, August 20, 2006

Google developing social and interactive television applications for 'mass personalization'

Google Research has proudly announced it won “Best Paper” award for its Interactive TV work presented at the Euro Interactive Television Conference held in Greece recently. The Google research, “Social and Interactive Television Applications Based on Real-Time Ambient Audio Identification,” is:

focused on using broadcast viewing to automatically present relevant information on a web browser…how to sample the ambient sound emitted from a TV and automatically determine what is being watched from a small signature of the sound…The system could keep up with users while they channel surf, presenting them with a real-time forum about a live political debate one minute and an ad-hoc chat room for a sporting event in the next. And, all of this would be done without users ever having to type or to even know the name of the program or channel being viewed.

Taking this further, we could collect snippets from the web describing the actors appearing in a movie or present maps of locales within the movie as it takes place (no matter if users are watching it as a live broadcast or as a recoded broadcast).


The Google research, produced by Michele Covell and Shumeet Baluja, of Google, in collaboration with Michael Fink, of Hebrew University, presents four applications for personalizing broadcast content and making it more interactive and social:

  • Personalized content layers
  • Ad hoc social peer communities
  • Real-time popularity ratings
  • Virtual media library services, or TV-based bookmarks


The proposed framework for combining mass media with a highly personalized Web-based experience “listens” to ambient audio and connects the viewer with services and related content on the Web via three-components:

  • a client-side interface
  • an audio-database server
  • a social-application Web server

Will we soon see Google ITV? Join the conversation: "Talk Back" below to share your thoughts.

Source: ZDNET