Former Google, MTV engineers cook up IntoNow – Foursquare meets Shazam for TV fans

If there’s one thing we love here in the good ol’ U. S. of A., it’s television — so it stands to reason that various companies have had a go at TV-based social networks and other trendy services that tie America’s love of television in with America’s love of social networks. To date, none have been overly successful, but that may soon change with the launch of a new iOS app called IntoNow. Comprised of engineers formerly with Google, MTV Networks and IDEO, Palo Alto-based IntoNow on Monday launched an app and network combination bearing the same name. After having played with it for a while this past weekend, we have to say we’re intrigued.

Put into a single sentence, IntoNow is basically FourSquare for TV enthusiasts, but with Shazam-like technology that makes the check-in process a breeze. The app includes the company’s “SoundPrint” technology, which allows users to tap a button to record an audio sample of the program they are currently watching. The app uploads the sample to IntoNow’s servers and almost instantly identifies the show or movie currently being viewed. Once posted, users can chat with friends on IntoNow about the show or movie, share it on Facebook or Twitter, and even add it to their Netflix Instant or DVD queues. The technology monitors 130 broadcast stations in real-time, so it might not be able to identify shows on a public access station in Podunk, Iowa — but rest assured that it has all the big networks covered.

IntoNow is available immediately in the App Store for free, and is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

IntoNow Launches Technology Platform and Companion App to Transform the TV-Watching Experience

Application quickly identifies television content and unlocks a new interaction model for viewers and advertisers

PALO ALTO, Calif. – January 31, 2011 – IntoNow, a consumer technology company that aims to enhance the way people engage around television content, is launching today with its first two products: SoundPrint, a patented technology platform that can automatically identify live television content and any previously aired content from the past five years, and IntoNow, an iOS companion application that uses SoundPrint to help people connect and engage with their friends around the shows they love.

“Television has always been a source of social engagement, and yet there’s never been an easy way for people to create connections with their friends around the shows they are into,” said Adam Cahan, founder and CEO of IntoNow. “This is an $80 billion market, and what we see here is the potential to automatically connect audiences, content owners, and advertisers with a simple click of a button.”

Because SoundPrint can precisely identify and validate what people are watching in the moment, IntoNow can create real connections between consumers and content owners, and eventually between consumers and advertisers. With the first version of the IntoNow application, you can:

  • Find out what your friends are watching and engage in discussion through your favorite social networks
  • Discover what shows you have in common with others and which of them are on air right now
  • Get relevant and more personal recommendations
  • Learn more about what’s on through show info and one-click access to IMDb, and add newly discovered shows to your Netflix queue or purchase through iTunes

At the core of the IntoNow app is the SoundPrint platform, a patented audio-recognition technology. SoundPrint indexes the audio being generated from your television, computer, or mobile device; identifies that content down to the airing and episode; and provides all the data and links associated with it, within a matter of seconds. Using SoundPrint, IntoNow has indexed more than 140 million minutes of broadcast television — equal to more than 266 years of content, or 2.6 million airings — and is expanding on that database every second, as it monitors more than 130 channels and indexes new content in real time.

IntoNow is a free companion application for iOS devices, and is now available to consumers in the US through the iTunes store. For more information on the app, visit www.IntoNow.com. If you’re interested in building on or integrating the SoundPrint platform, please email us at info [at] intonow [.] com.

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