Comigo has developed a new breed of contextual and interactive applications (termed “WatchApps”) that enable TV viewers to engage with the content they watch and share it with friends.

WatchApps are applications that can be synced with specific shows and are overlaid on top of the broadcasted stream as per the viewer’s request. The Apps are available on Android or iOS-based tablets and smartphones, as well as on the TV screen (by using Comigo’s STB middleware). They enable viewers to watch TV shows and interact with the viewed content and their friends, all at the same time.

Comigo’s WatchApps platform transforms every show into an exciting experience and opens up new revenue generating opportunities for operators. Comigo has already been approached with numerous ideas for WatchApps, and believes firmly that a wider community of developers should develop future apps. As a result they provide a Software Development Kit (SDK) and Application Programming interfaces (APIs) that allow anyone to develop WatchApps. In addition to the SDK, Comigo provides operators with an advanced management system that allows them to review and assign WatchApps to specific programs, TV channels or timeslots.

The WatchApps can be played on the TV set itself, so users do not have to move their eyes off the main screen. Additionally, they can operate the WatchApps on a tablet or smartphone that has been synced with the TV set, so as not to disturb the viewing of others that are watching with them.

WatchApps also opens many opportunities for a shared experience with friends. For example, if the user decides to buy merchandise, the platform enables them to invite his or her friends to buy the same product. This type of group buying can even lead to a lower price. The user can also choose to send a virtual champagne glass to friends, and can see Facebook or Twitter messages that relate to the show that the user is watching.

“Market reaction to our WatchApps platform has been fantastic,” commented Dov Moran, founder and CEO of Comigo. “Not only does it enhance the viewer’s overall experience, but it enables the operator to increase viewer engagement and monetize beyond the content. Using the WatchApps platform the operator can deliver services, information and capabilities which are relevant to the show”.

The platform already includes a wide range of contextual applications such as: delivering real-time information on sporting events, displaying player stats, ordering related merchandise, linking to a show’s Facebook page, Twitter feed and more. In addition, there are more general WatchApps such as news, weather, stock price tickers, and even a pizza-ordering App.