It’s (almost) like being there: Next3D FULL-COURT
The second screen: Mobovivo and ESPN InPlay
There’s creating a playoffs hashtag, and then there’s perfecting the social experience while watching TV—something Mobovivo has already done, counting ESPN and other broadcasters among its clients. The company creates platforms that takes social media information related to a particular program and curates it for a specific viewership, enabling TV audiences to have a custom second screen experience. As in the case of the ESPN Sync app (aimed at the 2014 World Cup of soccer), viewers can check in on player stats, trivia and even vote who will score next. That last one is most exciting, giving the audience a way to really engage with what they’re watching. A new app geared toward basketball isn’t too farfetched, and ESPN is working on one of its own called InPlay.
Forming habits: Facebook’s new TV feature
As our social media engagement grows, it’s no longer enough to just tell people what we’re watching, we want to share it, too. Facebook has added a new feature to its mobile app that recognizes what TV show or song you’re currently consuming and lets you share a 30-second clip of it with your friends. The kicker is that the app is always listening through the phone’s microphone, meaning every time you go to update your status you will already have the option to share nearby media. (This will be a nightmare for those already worried about privacy, as Facebook will in all likelihood record your media habits whether your share them or not). Although this functionality is currently limited to television shows and music, live events are the next step, so be prepared to share a clip of that sick dunk seconds after it happens.
Getting close: iBeacon
Apple’s iBeacon (originally announced in 2013) is a proximity-based sensor that interacts with nearby iOS devices, and can take the second screen concept to a whole new level by enabling location-based viewing of your favourite programs. Essentially, iBeacon alerts your phone or tablet when you approach or leave its location. It then tells any apps you have running to behave accordingly. For example, you can set up one of these devices in your living room and program it to turn on the game the moment you step in. For when you’re leaving the room, an iBeacon trigger can push an alert to whatever mobile devices you have on your person to open a mobile sports TV app that will allow you to continue watching the game unimpeded on the go. Applications outside the home can include special offers when you hit a stadium.