First look: Screach packs serious interactive potential for TV and beyond

First look: Screach packs serious interactive potential for TV and beyond

ScreenReach Interactive, the startup which could potentially make every screen you encounter in your life (TV, cinema, sports stadium, you name it) more interactive, has just launched Screach – the iPhone and Android app it hopes will make it all happen.

We’ve followed ScreenReach and its Screach platform since it emerged from The Difference Engine incubator scheme earlier this year and it’s packing some serious potential.

Imagine you’re watching a TV gameshow. The producers flash up a ‘Screach code’ on the screen which you then enter into the app. This then loads a customised ‘experience’ on your phone, allowing you to interact with the show. That could be voting on the show’s contestants, taking part in the show directly from home by answering quiz questions or anything else that the producers choose.

It’s not just TV either, developers can create Screach ‘experiences’ for any situation they choose – a pub quiz, a sporting event, an airport departure lounge. What’s more, users can be rewarded in real time. Say you answer a question in a quiz correctly, your prize can be delivered immediately as a reward voucher directly to the Screach app.

First look at the Screach app

So, now that it’s on the iTunes App Store [iTunes link] and the Android Market (with more platforms to follow), does it match up to its potential? As yet, Screach is a bit of a blank canvas as there aren’t many ‘Experiences’ out there to try. However it’s easy to see how the app could work if the idea takes off.

Location awareness lets you browse experiences close by to you, while a numeric keypad allows you to manually dial into any experience that you have the code for. The only Experience we had access to shows how customisable Screach can be. Code ‘8’ takes you to an ‘Unofficial X-Factor’ experience. This is an app for voting on who you want to win the current series of the UK’s popstar talent show. Although this example is simple, you can see how broadcasters could create Experiences for almost any show that they wanted to add an interactive element to.

Screach is now looking for developers to create Experiences for the app. This can be done using ScreachXML code which is detailed here. The startup is in talks with broadcasters and other businesses about building commercial experiences.

Based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, ScreenReach Interactive was founded by CEO Paul Rawlings and now employs a team of ten. If they can get broadcasters and developers on-side, this will definitely be one startup to keep your eyes on in 2011.

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