In the vast expanse of iPhone apps, there is – on occasion – an app that is so incredibly useful it soon becomes a must-have. TvTak, which instantly detects the show or commercial you’re viewing, is shaping up to be one of those apps and received great hype at Techonomy earlier today.
TvTak is a novel use of recognition technology; you simply point it at your TV screen and take a snapshot. Immediately, it tells you what TV show or commercial you’re watching.
Besides being a practical way of figuring out the name of the show you’ve randomly channel-surfed to without having to wait for the TV listings to roll around, it also enhances your social networking experience. TvTak lets you post the snapshot of the show you’re watching to your Facebook or Twitter. It’s an easy way to alert people to what your favourite shows are, and to discover similar interests you may not have been aware of.
If that wasn’t neat enough, it also does the editing work for you – scaling, zooming, and cropping are automatically done on the image. If you happen to blog about TV shows, this is a killer app – it essentially eliminates the need to search for screencaps online or posting poorly-taken cameraphone snapshots – worse yet, not using any images at all. It might be difficult to take a snapshot at the right moment, as you’re not likely to know what pivotal scenes are until they’ve passed, but you’re bound to get a few shots of the action.
TvTak’s commercial recognition is another intriguing feature to consider. Not only will it tell you what product is being sold – which can already be a challenge given the cryptic nature of some commercials – but it can link interested buyers with advertisers and allow purchases to be made through the iPhone. If TvTak takes off in a big way, it might just change the nature of online shopping.
The Ubercab is another neat implementation of Web 2.0 technology – in this case, it allows you to order a limousine with the touch of a button. If you pledge your allegiance to the Android phone instead, here are 9 must-have apps for the average Web 2.0 user.