Through AR and digital watermarking, TV viewers see synchronized companion content

It’s one thing for augmented reality (AR) to display content superimposed on still objects or images, but Japanese NTT is working on technology that enables similar capabilities for video watched on TV. Specifically, using digital watermarking, Visual SyncAR lets TV viewers see companion content through a mobile device that’s synchronized with the video being viewed.

Digital watermarking allows information such as a logo or ID number to be embedded into original video media. Once that’s done, Visual SyncAR lets users view TV content through a tablet or smartphone to see additional scenes. Technology on the mobile device quickly detects the watermark in the video being viewed; in response, it overlays computer graphics or text in synchronization with the video timing and position. If a video is rewound, for instance, Visual SyncAR will automatically display the right content for the new position. The DiginfoTV video below demonstrates the technology in action:

Potential applications for Visual SyncAR include not just entertainment but also companion content for digital signage, such as for the hearing-impaired or speakers of other languages, NTT notes. Tech-minded entrepreneurs: be inspired!


Spotted by: Murray Orange

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