Companion apps are nothing new, but while they can serve up bonus material for a TV show or medal counts for the Olympics, they can't see exactly what you're watching and display relevant information in realtime. Akamai's Hyperconnected Living Room concept demoed here at NAB aims to enhance the dual-screen experience by both pushing out on-demand movies and other streaming content and bringing related info to your slate, exactly when you'd expect to see it.
Akamai says it cooked up this demo especially for NAB "to get people thinking about the possibilities" of a second-screen experience. Those possibilities, if you haven't guessed, generally require you to open up your wallet. When Mission Impossible was playing on the big screen, pricing for a character's sunglasses popped up on the tablet. During a basketball game, we were prompted to buy tickets for an upcoming game. Depending on what you're watching, you may also see trivia from IMDB or links to players' stats.
To connect an iPad to the service, an Akamai rep simply signed into the web-based interface on both the TV and the tablet (though the service is generally compatible with any web-connected device). Once linked, the tablet can function as a remote for pausing and selecting content to stream, and users can personalize what ads and info they receive by providing details such as age, location and even clothing size. If you can't watch Mad Men without wondering where to buy Don Draper's fedora, you'll be all over the video demo below.