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Interactive TV Patent From Sony

Sony has filed a patent for interactive TV that could allow viewers to participate in the events on the screen. For example, you might use an on-screen avatar to kick an actor in the seat of the pants.


(Viewer kicks onscreen person with avatar)

Sony's patent relies on a type of interactive overlay for TV shows or movies, perhaps generated by a video game console such as Sony's PlayStation 3. Typically passive TV watchers could then use virtual avatars to interact on-screen as the TV show or movie action plays out behind them.

The idea takes direct inspiration from the venerable "Mystery Science Theater 3000," a comedy TV series from the 1990s that involved silhouetted commentators discussing the typically bad movie that they were watching. Sony's patent would take fun movie nights spent with a group of friends to the next level, by including games such as tomato-throwing or shooting a spider off the back of an actor.

Fans of Ray Bradbury's 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451 recall the spot-wavex scrambler, which allowed home viewers to participate in the dramas unfolding on their TV parlors (an early prediction of big screen TVs).

Montag turned and looked at his wife, who sat in the middle of the parlor talking to an announcer, who in turn was talking to her. "Mrs. Montag," he was saying this, that, and the other. "Mrs. Montag-" Something else and still another. The converter attachment, which had cost them one hundred dollars, automatically supplied her name whenever the announcer addressed his anonymous audience, leaving a blank where the proper syllables could be filled in. A special spot-wavex scrambler also caused his televised image, in the area immediately about his lips, to mouth the vowels and consonants beautifully. He was a friend, no doubt of it, a good friend.
(Read more about Bradbury's spot-wavex scrambler)

From Livescience.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/15/2009)

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