At a recent tech expo, a newer contender in the world of universal remote apps for iOS devices caught my eye. Although not an original idea, this particular implementation has a relatively low cost considering its rich feature set. This type of app represents the direction I believe that TV is going: businesses should be prepared to engage customers in new ways using ancillary content like ads, interactive games, and social content.
Ryz Media’s BlinQ TV has the newest twist on this idea. BlinQ’s big “get” is that, instead of routing commands over Wi-Fi, BlinQ gives you an IR blaster that plugs into the device’s headphone jack. The small blaster can control a TV, cable box, and most other devices with no intermediary hardware. Best yet, it’s very affordable at ten bucks.
BlinQ offers a guide that allows you to forget channel numbers and just concentrate on content. It does this by focusing on the popularity of shows among BlinQ users–the popular stuff is at the top, and there are pop-ups that alert you to trending shows. You can recommend what you’re watching to your friends via Facebook and Twitter. This product is a great look into the developing relationship between the TV and mobile devices; as soon as we don’t have to find a little gizmo to plug into our phones to get this functionality, absolutely everyone will use their phone as their remote. So, start thinking about what kinds of games and social features you might want to integrate into your company’s TV advertising campaigns, because it’s going to be the norm in the very near future.