One of the big takeaways from last week's E3 trade show was the emergence of this revolution called the "second screen." That is, we consumers aren't content to just watch one thing on TV anymore, whether it's live programming, a video game, a movie, or a sporting event. One company that wants to capitalize on that is Gracenote, which has an app that tries to automatically figure out what you're watching and seamlessly provide you with relevant data.
The idea behind the second screen is that if you're watching ESPN, you might get score updates from other games that are being played concurrently. If you're watching the latest episode of a drama, you might be more immersed if you get to see details about character back-stories in real time. But the question Gracenote has been trying to answer is - how does your tablet know what you're watching on TV? So far it has tried to figure it out by using the tablet's microphone to pick up audio cues.
But it needs more than just audio recognition, which is why Gracenote just bought a company called Bulldog. Gracenote is also targeting set-top boxes for greater interactivity with TV content. The company expects an advanced TV recognition platform to be deployed early next year. It still has a long way to go before Gracenote is a household name, but it is certainly delving into a very interesting market.