Being interrupted by banal comments and questions during your favorite TV show - "who is that again?"; "I thought they died in the last episode?"; "what do you mean, the laws of physics don't apply?" - is one of the worst things about coexisting on the same planet with other people, but obviously not everybody feels the same way. A new set-top box in Japan, the Entisu EN-NL1068, daisy-chains between your cable, satellite or DVD player and your TV, overlaying comments from the Nico Nico Douga messageboard. That way, rather than just being pestered by whoever is on the couch with you, you can be alerted to brain-spam from thousands of others.
It's called "Live Smiling" - "nikoniko" is the Japanese ideophone for smiling - and it's apparently incredibly popular already. Right now, Nico Nico Douga supports commenting on their own streaming content, viewed on a computer, but the Entisu box brings that community to your big-screen TV instead. It'll also support Twitter and RSS feeds, too, and Entisu are planning more services to make use of the system.
Up to three lines of text are supported, in various different fonts and colors, though there's no way to actually respond to messages; all you can do is read them. Right now it's Japan-only, of course, where it will launch in September priced at 19,800 yen ($235) or 12,525 yen as a promotion.
[via AV Watch]