Video discovery startup Boxfish wants to help people find out what’s new and trending on TV, by scouring broadcast and cable networks to find out what people are talking about. After making its second-screen discovery application available for iOS, the startup has just released an Android version, and is opening up to allow other developers to take advantage of the technology it’s built.
To recap: Boxfish works by scanning network satellite signals for captions and figuring out which words or topics or phrases are being talked about across a wide number of TV programs. It started with a real-time TV search engine, letting its users say where and when certain topics are being mentioned. But it’s expanded to enable users to see which topics are most popular.
The result was an app for the iPad providing a “Live Video Guide” to what’s new and important on TV. That app, not surprisingly, was also designed with the idea of connecting to users’ set-top boxes or TVs and allowing them to control the TV and switch the channel to things that they find interesting on the app.
With the launch on Android, Boxfish will be available to even more phones and tablets and users, bringing all the same trending and favorites options that iPad users had. One big new feature that it added with Android, though, was the ability to use Google’s voice recognition technology to talk to the app and search for shows or whatever without having to type them out.
But Boxfish isn’t looking to just be another consumer-facing app. It’s realized that the data it collects could also be useful to third parties. So it’s making its real-time TV API available to some partners and allowing them to use it in their own apps. That includes big consumer electronics manufacturers which may seek to provide a real-time data or trending layer on top of their existing TV guides.
The data is also being made available to universities — like the University of California, Berkeley or Columbia University — for their media schools to better understand the topics that are being discussed on 24-hour news networks, for instance. Other applications include real-time fact checking and sentiment analysis.
Boxfish was founded in 2011, and has raised $3 million in funding led by T-Venture, the Venture Capital arm of Deutsche Telekom.