As if there aren’t enough mobile platforms for app developers to stay on top of, here’s one on the horizon that some are already starting to pursue: Google Glass.
Thuuz Sports, a startup that makes apps that keep users apprised of what’s buzzing during live sporting events, has adapted a version for Google’s emerging wearable computing device. Thuuz launched its “Glassware” release last week, complementing apps already developed for Android and iOS devices, TiVo DVRs, Google TV, and a growing number of pay-TV provider set-top platforms.
Thuuz’s app uses data from Twitter, play-by-play info from Stats Inc., and other sources along with personalized and customized settings to determine the “excitement value” on sporting events based on a 0-100 scale. It then passes along that info to users in the form of alerts. For example, a high number for a Thuuz alert would be assigned to baseball game if a no-hitter was at stake or if an NFL game was heading to overtime. The image above depicts how the app would appear in the Google Glass environment.
“Google Glass is yet another platform for us to become available on,” said Thuuz CEO and founder Warren Packard, who acknowledged that the platform doesn’t have a huge installed base yet (“applications” to obtain a pair is currently closed). “It’s more of a showing that we’re committed to getting Thuuz out on devices across the ecosystem.”
He said porting Thuuz to Google Glass via the company’s API (application programming interface) presented some nuances but was “fairly straightforward,” since the company has already developed and deployed apps for a variety of Android-powered devices.
How Google Glass will actually be used is still being determined, but “having information appear at relevant moments, when you need it, is what Google Glass is about,” he said.
Thuuz, meanwhile, is already making some progress with pay-TV operators.
For example, Dish Networks' Gamefinder app is powered by Thuuz, presenting a list of sporting events that are in-progress or upcoming. That app also lets users tune to games with one click of the remote. Thuuz and Dish are also working on an update that will automatically record games if the excitement level reaches a certain threshold or if there’s a game being played by one of the user’s favorite teams. For now, that auto-recording functionality is only available (in beta form) to Dish subs who use older receivers connected to Google TV. Thuuz is also integrated with the Dish Explorer tablet app.
Elsewhere, Thuuz is working with Liberty Global launch its app on the MSO’s new Horizon set-top box platform. Packard said the initial Thuuz app for Horizon should launch in the Netherlands within two months, marking it the first version of Thuuz to implement a language other than English.
Packard said pay-TV operators are interested in Thuuz because they’re paying a lot for sports programming and want to give subscribers new ways to discover that content. “We’re hitting the right chord with MVPDs,” he said
Thuuz won’t release user figures, but its direct-to-consumer apps and those delivered through partners are “both in the six figures,” he said. “We’re on the way to seven figures in terms of active users on the platform.”
Thuuz’s automated system currently covers 20 leagues and federations tied to football, baseball, hockey, soccer, cricket, rugby, tennis and basketball. Thuuz is close to launching golf coverage and is developing coverage for motor sports.
Thuuz currently does not charge for its app, though it does charge a technology fee to its partners for the company's more advanced services.