The theme of the first ever TVOT Hackathon was “break and remake TV.” And what better place to do this than Philo Farnsworth’s original 202 Green Street Lab in San Francisco’s historic North Beach neighborhood. Farnsworth is considered the father of TV. He invented and patented the first electronic television system in the same Green Street building back in 1927.
While Farnsworth’s team was focused on the development of the first practical TV system, the common themes of the TVOT Hackathon were around simplifying how viewers interact with today’s TV programming and how they discover movies and TV shows in a world of seamlessly endless choices.
More than 60 hackers participated, taking advantage of APIs from some of the biggest names in TV and technology, from DirectTV and Samsung to TMS, Mashery, zeebox, Nuance and Gracenote. The result was a slew of cool hacks that used voice, gesture, recognition and data to rethink the future of TV.
The API awards were presented on Sunday evening by the Hackathon sponsors.
SRK Second Screen – Winner of the Gracenote API Award
The winning hack for the Gracenote prize would allow viewers to sync an iPad with TV programs and Identify and purchase fashion items worn by characters on-screen. SRK demonstrated the App with the TV program "The Big Bang Theory” – letting viewers buy t-shirts and other items.
The Hubble team used almost every API available to them to create a supercharged smart remote App. This hack would allow viewers to use voice commands to tag merchandise within TV programs, and buy them later on Amazon. Hubble also identifies and syncs shows in real time, delivering sports scores and other data, even letting TV viewers place bets on live games.
The HiveMind hack was designed to let people completely give up on searching the channel guide and cede control of their TV remote to Twitter. With HiveMind, the TV taps into Gracenote and Twitter’s APIs to automatically pick TV shows and movies based trending hashtags.
The IronMan team tapped into the Leap Motion and Nuance APIs to let TV viewers ditch the remote and use their voice and hands to grab content on one TV screen and throw it to another TV screen.
This hack "gamifies" how people pick movies and TV programs to watch by giving viewers a set amount of time to select between 4-5 programming choices. Each time the viewer selects a movie, their choices are narrowed and they are given a few more seconds to make their next choice.
An Open Source project designed to decompose the future television into “recomposable parts,” each more powerful than the former whole. This hack integrated Leap Motion, Nuance and Gracenote Entourage to rethink the TV interface.
Tasty Pi taps into the audio from TV programs to listen-in and monitor all of the TV shows a viewer is watching. It then creates viewer profiles and recommendations to enhance discovery based on that viewing behavior.
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Roger Tsai on “You Might Also Like...” panel
Roger Tsai on “Creating Killer Playlists through Personalization Technologies” panel
Gracenote will be at CES 2015