Cognitive Forges Smart TV Partnerships

Strikes Deals With Batch of Interactive Ad, App and Content Vendors

Cognitive Networks, a startup that has developed an interactive platform for connected televisions that relies on automatic content recognition (ACR) technology, said it has lined up a batch of partners as it looks to establish a “smart TV ecosystem.”

In the advertising category, Cognitive has teamed with BrightLine, DG MediaMind, emus, Furious Minds and Visible World, and announced integration pacts with app developers A Different Engine and Accedo. Cognitive has also hooked up with two interactive content platform vendors: Ensequence and Watchwith.

Cognitive, led by CEO and cable industry vet Michael Collette, has developed Engage, a cloud-based, HTML5-powered powered platform that runs in the background and triggers interactive elements, including polls, ads, and quizzes, that sync up with video programming. Rather than integrating with service provider-supplied set-tops, Cognitive’s strategy is to get its software client embedded in smart TV sets.

Cognitive said it is expanding its ecosystem with an API that lets developers launch opt-in based apps.

Early on, LG is using Cognitive’s system in newer models to help the TV maker support “SHO Sync,” and app from Showtime Networks that offers interactivity in live, on-demand, and DVR-record versions of original series such as Dexter and Ray Donovan. Cognitive, which counts Samba TV among its competitors, has also customized a show-reminder app developed by Visible World for the National Geographic Channel. 

Earlier this year, Collette told Multichannel News in August that Cognitive expects to run demos with two more TV manufactures at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

San Francisco-based Cognitive has raised about $6 million, including $2.5 million that came way of the venture-capital arm of Rogers Communications.