On January 25, the popular German television show “Galileo” of ProSieben presents, in collaboration with junaio, the world’s first truly interactive TV broadcast. Viewers are able to actively participate and respond to questions in a quiz, get individual feedback on their results and compare their performance with that of other viewers. It is like having a TV set with a touch screen.
The idea of interactive television with viewers being able to cast their vote in real time, to transmit their opinion or to participate in a quiz show has been around for decades. To date though, popular entertainment shows were only able to offer a very limited form of viewer participation using batteries of call centres. Despite the enormous expense, usually only a small number of persistent callers actually get through, apart from the fact that communication is not really bi-directional. Now, for the first time and at very little expense everybody can actively participate, provided he has a smartphone available. All that is needed is to quickly download the junaio app and to click on the “Galileo smart” channel.
To get the best results during the „Galileo“ quiz, one should point the smartphone camera directly at the displayed choice of alternative responses and close enough to the TV screen. This is because junaio uses a technology called digital image recognition. The scanned screen image triggers communication with the station’s server via internet and thus establishes a bi-directional transmission of information. With just a click on the touch screen of the smartphone the viewer’s response is transmitted. Results are displayed instantly, both at the station’s end and on the smartphone. The viewer will see immediately whether his answer was right or wrong, which percentage of viewers answered correctly and how many questions he has gotten right himself so far. Those who missed the show will be able to visit the “Galileo” website later and run through the quiz there as well.
This can be considered a first important step towards truly interactive television. It is not hard to imagine the different opportunities this technology opens up.
“Viewer polling is one thing”, says Peter Meier, CTO of metaio. “Another idea could be to offer films or documentaries based on audience’s spontaneous choice. Or to make additional information available, such as a chef’s recipe, and transmit it at a viewer’s request directly on his smartphone. Breakthrough technologies such as junaio will provide the media industry with entirely new possibilities of user interaction.”