Yahoo Wants TV Full of Interactive Pop-Ups, Hopefully Not The Annoying Kind
Not satisfied with Web TV alone, Yahoo now wants to bring interactive widgets into ordinary television channels.
The company will test a pilot program for interactive broadcasts during the first half of this year, with CBS, ABC, Showtime, HSN, Ford and Mattel as partners. At a pre-CES event Wednesday, Yahoo showed how it worked:
Say you're watching Hawaii Five-O on CBS. During one scene, an interactive prompts encourages you to press a button to learn more about actress Grace Park. (Apparently, she holds a degree in psychology.) The system works for advertisements as well. During a commercial for the Lincoln MKX, users can watch a video gallery, view features or request a brochure from Ford. Other applications include trivia, polls and shopping.
Cable and satellite providers aren't involved with the pilot program. Instead, the prompts are delivered directly through Yahoo's connected TV platform on supporting devices. It's not yet clear which devices will be part of the program, but Broadcom Corporation, D-Link, Haier, MediaTek, Sony and Toshiba are signed on as hardware partners.
In striking deals with content providers, Yahoo stands in stark contrast with Google TV. Major networks have blocked the nascent platform from accessing their Websites, fearing encroachment on their advertising territory.
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