Aug 2, 2011
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke
Yahoo’s new social TV service IntoNow has made its way to Android. The service allows people to share and check in to their currently-watched TV shows with friends. However, this is something that other services offer, such as GetGlue. What makes IntoNow different? IntoNow can detect the current show being watched based simply on a short audio sample of the currently-airing show.
The way it detects the airing TV show is both familiar and innovative. It works similarly to apps like Shazam and SoundHound, in that it detects the currently airing program based on recording and analyzing audio the user submits. Now, with music recognition apps, they have a library of prerecorded tracks to cull data from; IntoNow recognizes and analyzes audio recorded from currently airing TV. It then reports back what is currently airing. This works for not just reruns, but for premieres of new shows, and even live TV airing, like news programs and sports recap shows. It is impressive to say the least, and it works just as advertised. For live shows, the results may be spotty; when recording a highlight airing on MLB Network, IntoNow reported I was watching ESPN, but this is a minor issue, and it is possible that the same highlight was airing on that other channel simultaneously.
Once a show is recognized, then the user is checked in to the show, and can see what other IntoNow users are watching the show. As well, they can share what they are watching to their Twitter and Facebook feeds. It is possible to see the entire feed of IntoNow users to see what they are watching, along with friends on IntoNow, including friends found on Twitter and Facebook. The IntoNow app from Yahoo is available for free from the Android Market. The app can be tested without creating an account, and Facebook can be used for authentication. Tablet users should note that the app crashes when trying to login with Facebook.