Former TiVo president Morgan Guenther is coming out with a new wireless product this fall that will let cellphone viewers interact with TV. The company, AirPlayTV, is expected to announce its launch at the National Association of Broadcasters Futures Summit in Monterey, Calif. this week.
AirPlayTV says it has developed a patent-pending technology that uses wireless networks to allow viewers to use their cellphones as game instruments that let them play along in real-time with TV shows. For example, the service would let them compete against friends in calling football game plays or predicting who will be voted off reality shows as the shows are being broadcast.
The company, where Guenther is the CEO and chair, says it has raised $4 million in funds from wireless communication company Qualcomm and Silicon Valley venture capital firm Redpoint Ventures. AirPlay’s first category, AirPlay Sports, will launch in Sept. when the NFL season begins. Members of the service, downloadable via the Internet or direct to the mobile device, can create customized competitions with friends tied to predicting the outcome specific TV events, like a football game or a vote-off reality show like American Idol.