One Step Beyond Shazam—Zazum™ Improves on ACR Technology

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A little start-up called Zazum makes a big breakthrough in automatic content recognition for television and film by tagging specific products within a show.

SeeLoveBuy uses a new kind of ACR to identify products on TV.

Most ACR, or automatic content recognition, uses fingerprinting, the kind of technology Shazam and IntoNow are using to identify TV shows and commercials. But we needed to do more than just identify the episode.

Using Zazum’s proprietary mKues™ broadcasters can signal multiple events throughout a television show, so mobile devices know not only what audiences are watching, but exactly what’s on screen at each moment without resorting to timing, QR codes, or forcing viewers to pause the show and get off the couch to take a picture of their TV screens.

“Most ACR, or automatic content recognition, uses fingerprinting, the kind of technology Shazam and IntoNow are using to identify TV shows and commercials. But we needed to do more than just identify the episode. We wanted to identify exactly what’s on the television screen at each moment, and fingerprinting is not very good for that,” explained Susan Rits, founder and CEO of Zazum.

Another advantage of mKues over other content recognition technology is that they make for a seamless 2screen user experience. “We designed this technology for the 10-foot viewing experience—for people who watch TV on TVs, which is still 95% of television audiences,” Rits said. The only thing a viewer needs to do is download SeeLoveBuy™, Zazum’s iPhone app, and turn it on. After that, the phone automatically recognizes each new cue, and information about what’s on the TV screen appears on the phone.

“My favorite part so far about working with this technology is watching each person’s reaction when the mKue triggers their phone for the first time. When something that’s on TV suddenly pops up on the phone in their hand, they gasp or jump, and a big smile crosses their face,” Rits said. “I’ve seen grown men giggle.”

Coming out of the deep-stealth mode of development, Zazum’s first steps into the public spotlight have already generated a lot of interest from producers and networks. “We’ve been approached by producers who want to make game shows interactive for audience members or trigger time-limited coupons, or just make companion apps for their shows. But what we find most compelling is how to use the technology for brand engagement and shopping from TV,” Rits said. “That’s what we’re exploring now with our own app, SeeLoveBuy.”

Try this technology by downloading SeeLoveBuy, available in the iTunes App Store, and use it to shop Milkmade in Manhattan, available now on iTunes, and Vimeo.

About Zazum
Zazum, Inc. is the pioneering provider of a revolutionary 2screen mobile commerce platform. SeeLoveBuy, Zazum's mobile app, enables audiences to learn more about and instantly purchase the things they see and love on television and in movies. Our groundbreaking technology doesn’t just tell you what show you’re watching, but what product in each show you’re looking at—the moment it crosses the screen.

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Nadine Zukoski

Nadine Zukoski
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