Angry Bytes: "Increased interactivity is coming to a TV near you (aided by global collaboration) "

America has always been a leader in the world of television. In 1923, Ohio-born inventor Charles Francis Jenkins was one of the first to successfully transmit moving silhouette

America has always been a leader in the world of television. In 1923, Ohio-born inventor Charles Francis Jenkins was one of the first to successfully transmit moving silhouette images.

Just a few years later, the world’s first television station was established in the New York offices of General Electric.

From these pre-war experimental years, through the moon landing, Los Angeles Olympics, Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction” and countless televised events in between, the United States has been a pioneer both in terms of what happens on the screen and the back-end innovations that make it all possible.

When it comes to “interactive TV,” the US has also been at the forefront of innovation. NBC’s Today Show introduced telephone call-ins as far back as 1959, and ever since, the industry has sought to involve its viewers more meaningfully in the entertainment process.

But Europe has also had its role to play. Long before the 17 series of Big Brother or the spectacle of modern US electoral polling, there was one clear and dominant player in the world of interactivity: Eurovision. 

Despite its sometimes questionable techno background music and off-kilter choice of costumes, this great pageant of European popular culture has had a major impact on interactive television, through its rigorous voting system and experimentation with new technology. In fact Angry Bytes has had a longstanding relationship with Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS to provide interactive voting, trivia and knowledge functionality for Eurovision viewers.

In more recent years, the Netherlands has begun to stand out as a hotbed of innovation in this space, developing a slew of cutting-edge technology solutions that bring the audience closer to the action. 

Given our mutual commitment to harnessing technology that will enrich the viewing experience for television audiences, it makes sense that Dutch and American innovators should work together toward this common goal. 

This is why we have officially joined the Dutch Media Innovators – a consortium of seven forward-thinking Dutch media and technology companies on the lookout for US collaboration.

Nowhere is that collaboration more exciting (or necessary) than the evolving world of interactive television. With more than 1,700 television stations calling the US home – not to mention the myriad production companies – there is always a need for a competitive advantage, especially when it can come without a huge hit to the balance sheet. 

Many of these TV stations and companies are still building their own software for managing and promoting interactive functionality – a process which comes at a huge cost to businesses but has, until now, been necessary.

We are pleased to announce that at Angry Bytes we have created a real-time CMS-like platform to produce second screen applications, allowing stations to manage audience interaction efforts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including real time statistics.

Compared to the time-consuming and expensive process television stations go through when building their own second screen software systems, our web-based ‘Play Now’ solution whittles the development time down to just two to four hours, after which one is able to design, run and customise to their heart’s content. 

Interactivity is undoubtedly the way of the future. All we need now is a bit of cooperation between global innovators to make it happen.  

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