ABCâ€™s Ingenious App Uses Sound to Sync iPad, TV http://bit.ly/c2n5In
ABCâ€™s iPad app for the television show â€œMy Generationâ€ creates a seamless, two-screen, interactive television experience by bridging a cable/satellite connection and an iPad, two digital devices, by measuring decidedly analog sound waves using the iPadâ€™s microphone. The app looks for certain contours in the audio signal that the Neilsen television ratings firm uses to monitor broadcasts, so that it knows when to display a particular poll or other item linking up with a precise moment in the show.
Though television companion apps exist for the iPad, this automatic syncing feature represents a big step forward. And while ABC is only rolling this out for a single program, itâ€™s such a clever, obvious-in-retrospect idea â€” not to mention far easier than writing digital code to keep the devices synced wirelessly even if the user watches at someone elseâ€™s house or later, using on-demand or a DVR â€” that it could easily become widespread across many shows.