junaio Hails AR TV Trial a Success

Augmented reality (AR) firm metaio has released details of an experiment conducted last Wednesday, in which viewers of the science TV programme Galileo on the German ProSieben channel were able to take part in a live quiz during the show using their smartphone, equipped with metaio’s junaio AR browser.

By pointing the phone’s camera at the displayed choice of answers and clicking on one of the possible answers received instant feedback on their choice. AR image recognition ensured that only those actually seeing the show could participate. junaio uses a technology called digital image recognition. The scanned screen image triggers communication with the station’s server via internet and thus establishes a bi-directional transmission of information. With a click on the smartphone’s touchscreen, the viewer’s response is transmitted. Results are displayed instantly, both at the station’s end and on the smartphone. The viewer then sees immediately whether his answer was right or wrong, which percentage of viewers answered correctly and how many questions he has ans correctly to that point.

metaio says the viewing public showed great interest in this technology, with a “staggering” number of downloads of the junaio browser. Galileo was number one in German Twitter trends and ratings shot up to 14 per cent share of TV viewing among 14 – 49 year old viewers. ProSieben says it is committed to integrating such AR services in future shows, and that Wednesday’s experiment can be considered a first important step towards truly interactive television, offering a simple and elegant solution to instant user feedback and messaging, without requiring any dedicated equipment.

“Viewer polling is one thing”, says metaio CTO, Peter Meier. “Another idea could be to offer films or documentaries based on the audience’s spontaneous choice. Or to make additional information available, such as a recipe, and transmit it at a viewer’s request directly onto his smartphone. News networks can take an instant temperature check of viewer attitudes. Someone on Twitter already suggested using this for the popular show, American Idol. Breakthrough technologies such as junaio will provide the media industry with entirely new possibilities of user interaction.”

junaio, can be downloaded for free from iTunes or Android Market. You can see a video demo of the Galileo experiment here.