The aim, the company says, is to take today’s fast-growing but chaotic landscape of TV “companion” apps – such as ones delivering athlete stats to people watching the Olympics, or crime-fighting details to CSI junkies—and make it easier to create and see such additional content.
The Akamai proof of concept—shown for the first time to MIT Technology Review last week—consists of a few parts. The first is a piece of software that would reside on whatever device you use, whether it’s a television set fed by a cable or satellite service, a set-top box delivering content over the Internet, or even a DVR playing a recorded show. A one-time authentication process links your tablet or smartphone to the device.
Real-time information on what show you’re watching—even as you change the channel—gets sent to Akamai’s servers. Relevant secondary information then gets streamed directly back to your smartphone or tablet in near real-time.