TV Through the Looking Glass – Kannuu Wins at TV Hackfest


On February 5 – 6 at TV Hackfest in San Francisco, in response to the Gracenote Brief, Kannuu UI experts Aran Rhee and Ben Davey created a second-screen app in under 24 hours that blew away Hackfest judges and has everyone rethinking the whole second-screen concept. Combining Google Glass, Gracenote API’s and Kannuu’s search, recommendation and pair-n-share technology, the guys created a real-world working implementation of what just may be the true, next generation, second-screen experience.

Second-screen apps enhance the experience of watching television by providing interactive features and additional content related to the main program. But there’s sometimes a glitch in the dual-immersion experience.

Watching television is a passive, ‘lean-back’ activity while navigating a second-screen app is more of an active, ‘lean-forward’ endeavor, and switching back and forth between screens can often diminish both experiences – just as an inadequate search & discovery experience in today’s increasingly connected TV environment can quash viewing pleasure.

In broad strokes, here’s how the app, dubbed “TV Through the Looking Glass,” works:

Wearing Google Glass and watching any content on any connected TV, the consumer who wants to know what program is being watched presses Google Glass once, and up pops the name of the program along with thumb nail art and additional high-level information.

To make this possible the app taps the Gracenote Entourage Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) platform, which recognizes what’s playing from the audio, and the Kannuu cloud-based findability platform for relevant metadata and additional localized recommendations, and of course, Google Glass for displaying this information.

Aran and Ben could have stopped there and had a pretty cool second-screen app, but there is more…

If the consumer would like additional, deep-dive information or associated recommendations on the program he or she is watching, or wants to participate in any related, real-time social activity, one more tap on Google Glass, and a translucent overlay appears on the TV screen containing a wealth of information about the program – director, actors, ratings, related content, recommendations, etc., and social activity related to the program, such as Facebook and Twitter chats or real-time online discussions about the program.

Making this happen is the Kannuu findability platform, which presents up all the deep dive info, Kannuu pair & share technology, which invokes the translucent overlay on the connected TV screen, and integration with zeebox, which summons in real time all related social activity.

Did I mention that while all of this great deep-dive information and social activity is presented on the TV screen via a translucent overlay, the original program continues playing and can be seen clearly? Or that from identifying the program from audio content to having high-level information appear on Google Glass to having deep-dive information and social activity appear on the TV screen requires a mere two taps?

No interruption. No disconnect from switching back and forth between screens. No frustration from failed search & discovery.

Seamlessly integrating Google Glass, Kannuu, Gracenote and zeebox, TV Through the Looking Glass affords viewers an intuitive, non-intrusive, fast, easy and fun experience that truly delivers on the second-screen promise.  Duly note that this app/service fully functioned, significantly more than just a concept.

Focusing on the user experience, breaking through the search and discovery bottleneck, minimizing the distraction or disconnect multiple screen viewing often occasions, and truly enhancing the viewing experience is what Kannuu is all about.

We’re very proud of Aran and Ben, and we are grateful to work along side Gracenote, zeebox and others committed to open standards. The combined potential of all of the great technology available today is dizzying, and it is often the case that when companies work together in true partnership, what is created is greater than the sum of the parts. TV Through the Looking Glass is a wonderful example of this.