In the blog post announcing the new platform, Google mentioned that it has already started building strategic alliances with a number of TV technology companies, specifically naming Jinni and Rovi in the process.
The former is a small Israeli startup that we’ve been tracking for a while now, and with whom I’m acquainted because they were one of the 3 finalists at my Plugg startup competition event back in March 2009.
Its guide helps users choose what to watch next amid the abundance of available content (live TV channels, VOD, DVR, and Internet services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu). Based on semantic technology, Jinni essentially aims to filter the universe of content through the lens of the user’s personal moods and tastes. It operates a fairly popular destination website in addition to API-based solutions for Internet content providers and TV operators.
The company, which has raised just over $3 million in venture capital to date, is now working with the Mountain View Internet giant to provide semantic search, personalized recommendations and social features for Google TV across all sources of premium content that will be available to the user.
Perhaps if Jinni plays its cards right, Google might be interested in buying them out somewhere down the line, provided the startup can prove its technology’s worth and wow Google TV users with its search features and personalized recommendations.
Either way, here are some preliminary screenshots of the service we’ve scored, although we should warn that the application is still very much under development at this point.