Parents can keep track of kids via interactive TV


16 Aug 2007

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A Cork company has created the world’s first interactive TV application that allows the tracking of mobile phones by TV viewers.

“There is an immense appeal for this type of technology as parents concerned about the safety, well-being and location of their children can know exactly where they are”, said John Allen, CEO Digisoft.tv.

The new application developed by DigiSoft.tv and aimed at global IPTV (internet protocol TV) operators allows TV viewers such as parents to see the current location of their children’s mobile phone on their TV screen.

The technology will also allow text messages to be sent to that phone from the TV’s remote control.

The technology was developed as part of a strategic collaboration between DigiSoft and Indian IT outsourcing giant Tech Mahindra. “This is the start of a whole new age for TV as the entire interaction takes place from the armchair at home, while watching a TV show, using nothing more than the TV remote control,” said Shankar Allimatti, vce president, Next Generation Technologies at Tech Mahindra.

“Digisoft’s platform enables the rapid development of revenue generating applications for IPTV service providers, DigiTracker is an example of these advanced applications”.

“Parents can see where their children are at a given time and send them message such as ‘on our way’ to collect them from football practice, for example,” said Fintan McKiernan, senior vice president of sales for the Americas at DigiSoft.

“There is an immense appeal for this type of technology as parents concerned about the safety, well-being and location of their children can know exactly where they are so long as they are carrying their mobile phone and can easily get a message to them.

“This is the start of a whole new age for TV as the entire interaction takes place from the comfort of a parent’s armchair at home, while watching their favourite TV show, using nothing more than their TV remote control,” McTiernan said.

Seven year-old firm DigiSoft has been engaged in major digital, satellite and cable TV implementations worldwide and earlier this year unveiled its own MPEG-4 IPTV set-top box.

The company’s core DigiHost technology is being targeted at telecoms companies and television companies keen to take part in the move towards IPTV and enables these companies to create “sticky” applications that viewers want and are willing to pay for.

By John Kennedy

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