A startup called Skipr wants to cover up all the commercials you see on TV, replacing them with things you’d actually want to watch.
The product is still in development, but one of the developers has posted some details on Reddit: Skipr will monitor any cable or satellite TV signal and auto-detect advertisements. When the commercial break starts, Skipr will switch to content of your choosing, such as social media updates, the weather, a screensaver, or music. You could also have it switch to a different game during sports broadcast.
In other words, it’s kind of like changing the channel when a commercial break starts, but with content specifically made to fill those few minutes. Skipr is supposed to then automatically switch back to your original show when the commercial break ends.
This will require a cable or satellite TV feed coming over HDMI, but there currently aren’t any Android TV devices that support HDMI In. Skipr plans to build one itself—a Kickstarter campaign is planned for May or June—but will also offer an app for televisions that have Android TV built in. The company is looking into an app for the Xbox One as well.
TV networks probably won’t take too kindly to an app covering up all their commercials, but Skipr maintains that it’s legally in the clear because it’s not recording or re-transmitting any video itself, nor is it actually skipping over any video, like Dish’s Hopper DVR does. That said, Skipr is still relying on Google to allow the app into its store, so there could be some fireworks if networks raise a stink.
There’s no word on when Skipr’s Android TV app will be available, but you can drop your email on the company’s website to sign up for early beta access.
Why this matters: It’s worth noting that Skipr hasn’t actually shown its technology in action—a video that a representative uploaded for curious Reddit users was promptly removed—so we can’t say whether Skipr will work as advertised. Still, as smart TV makers keep trying to inject more ads into the viewing experience, it’s laudable to see a company take the opposite approach.