Flingo is the latest social TV service to hit the market. It has the ambitious goal of merging your television watching with your Web activity, in real-time. This works two ways: Web content is adapted according to what you're watching on TV, and your TV screen gets Web features such as checking in and tweeting.
What's most intriguing about Flingo is the developer platform. Via a public API, the company is positioning itself as "the world's largest enabler of applications for your Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players and Set-top boxes." The company says it is already the largest publisher of smart TV apps.
The API (Application Programming Interface) enables developers to build mobile and Web apps that utilize television content in real-time; or vice versa, for example adding Web content pop-ups to your TV.
Ashwin Navin, CEO of Flingo, spoke to NBC News Bay Area recently about Flingo and the future of TV:
To bring this vision to fruition, Flingo has built up an impressive array of partnerships with entertainment networks (including CBS, Fox and MTV) and technology companies (including Samsung, Google and LG). The company claims that "most smart TVs sold today are already enabled with Flingo."
Flingo isn't just relying on software embedded into Smart TVs. It's working with a leading TV manufacturer to create a new type of television set, due out by the end of this year. As Technology Review reports, the set "has built-in software and hardware that send data about what is on-screen to an Internet server that can identify the content."
But wait, there's more! Flingo also offers a 'watch later' service similar to the Boxee one we reviewed last week. Available at Flingo.org, you can save videos from your browser to watch later on your TV. Or, to use Flingo's parlance, you "fling" Web content to your TV. This is an open source project, hence the .org domain.
The company has been operating since 2008, but only just came out of stealth mode in July of this year. The co-founders, Ashwin Navin and David Harrison, were early employees of popular file sharing service BitTorrent.
Flingo is an intriguing service with big goals. One to watch! Let us know in the comments whether you've used it and, if so, your impressions.