September 24, 2011
Social TV applications are nothing new. With the birth of the “check-in” came an influx of social TV apps, allowing you to share what you’re watching on the tube with your various social networks. San Francisco-based startup Miso is going beyond the basic entertainment check-in, offering DirecTV customers a a synchronized TV-viewing experience that changes with each switch of the channel.
The latest iteration of Miso’s app links directly with DirecTV set-top boxes over Wi-Fi, automatically showing users what’s playing. This eliminates having to search in an app to find your favorite show, or having to activate listening technology to sync the app with what’s on screen. (The company also has a similar deal with French set-to-box manufacturer Netgem.)
The new setup is a faster way to find and share what you’re watching with friends. Miso makes it easier than ever to engage with your social networks, whether you want to chat with other viewers about the big game or answer trivia about your favorite sitcom.
So far, Miso has raised almost $2 million in funding from investors such as Google Ventures, Hearst and YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim. So what’s next for the budding company?
“Now that we know what you’re watching, we can explore what synchronization could really mean,” says Miso co-founder Somray Niyogi. “To us, it’s about value – this may come in the form of simplicity of sharing, delivering you complementary content, getting answers to questions you may have while watching TV or a combination of all of the above.”
In the works is a social-app creation tool to supplement Miso’s current service. The company will be releasing a platform so that anyone – from a superfan to a celebrity to an entire network – can build a mobile companion to a show or movie.
Niyogi says the focus is on how differently individuals experience TV. You may watch “Dancing With the Stars” for the art of the performances, but your sister might watch it to keep up with the juicy gossip on the contestants. According to Niyogi, the upcoming, customizable Miso platform could cater apps to both of you.
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