Invented by Bruce L. Davis, Tony F. Rodriguez, Digimarc Corp

The market for second screen methods and arrangements has been steadily growing in recent years, as more and more consumers seek to enhance their viewing experiences and engage with content on multiple screens simultaneously. Second screen refers to the use of a secondary device, such as a smartphone or tablet, alongside a primary screen, typically a television or computer, to access additional content or interact with the main screen. One of the main drivers of this market growth is the increasing popularity of streaming services and on-demand content. With the rise of platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+, viewers now have access to a vast library of movies and TV shows at their fingertips. Second screen methods and arrangements provide a way for viewers to explore related content, such as behind-the-scenes footage, cast interviews, or interactive quizzes, while watching their favorite shows or movies. Sports events have also played a significant role in driving the demand for second screen methods and arrangements. Many sports fans enjoy following live games on their television screens while simultaneously checking real-time statistics, player profiles, or social media updates on their smartphones or tablets. This allows for a more immersive and interactive experience, as fans can engage with fellow viewers and stay up to date with the latest developments in the game. The market for second screen methods and arrangements is not limited to entertainment purposes alone. Educational institutions and corporate organizations are also embracing this trend to enhance learning and collaboration. In classrooms, students can use second screen devices to access supplementary materials, participate in interactive quizzes, or collaborate on group projects. Similarly, in business settings, employees can use second screen devices during presentations or meetings to take notes, access relevant documents, or engage in real-time discussions. Various methods and arrangements have emerged to cater to the growing market demand for second screen experiences. Some content providers have developed dedicated mobile apps that synchronize with the main screen to provide additional information or interactive features. For example, during a live TV show, viewers can use the app to vote for their favorite contestants or access exclusive content. Other methods involve using social media platforms, where viewers can engage in discussions, share their thoughts, or participate in polls related to the content they are watching. In terms of arrangements, there are several options available to consumers. Some prefer to use their personal devices, such as smartphones or tablets, alongside their primary screens. This allows for a personalized and customizable experience, as viewers can choose the content they want to access on their second screen. Others opt for smart TVs or set-top boxes that come equipped with built-in second screen capabilities. These devices allow for seamless integration between the main screen and the secondary device, eliminating the need for additional apps or devices. As the market for second screen methods and arrangements continues to grow, it presents opportunities for content providers, device manufacturers, and app developers to innovate and create new experiences for consumers. The ability to engage with content on multiple screens simultaneously adds value to the viewing experience and provides new avenues for interaction and personalization. With advancements in technology and the increasing demand for immersive entertainment and educational experiences, the market for second screen methods and arrangements is expected to thrive in the coming years.

The Digimarc Corp invention works as follows

The present technology is concerned with cell phones, similar devices and their use together with media content, both electronic and physical, and other systems, such as televisions, digital recorders and electronic program directors. Some aspects of technology are centered around the “second screen”. Applications that detect a TV program being viewed by the user and display menus of complimentary content on the touchscreen of the phone from which the user may select. These complementary contents can include video content from other sources, web pages associated with the program, or opportunities to purchase merchandise related to it. The television provider can identify this complementary content, or it can be identified in another way (e.g. by crowdsourcing). In some embodiments the phone instructs remote DVRs to record content for later viewing. This technology can also be used to make TV viewing a social event, involving friends who are not in the room. Many other details and arrangements are also revealed.

Background for Second screen methods and arrangements

Certain embodiments of the technology complement content that is available on a larger screen.

For the sake of simplicity, the content on the larger screen is sometimes referred to as the primary content. The content on the smaller screen (the “second screen”) is regarded as auxiliary content. Auxiliary content is considered to be the case. Audio and video, textual and web data, software widgets, and application programs are examples of auxiliary contents. Users may view auxiliary content to be more relevant in certain circumstances and even ignore the primary content.

Referring to FIG. “Referring to FIG.

The television system 12 can include elements such as a Slingbox, Apple TV, iPod, Boxee Media Center software, or a computer.

Any communication channel 36 can deliver primary content to the television system 12. Satellite, cable, wireless or wired internet, over-the-air broadcasting, etc. are examples. A content distributor 32 (e.g., Comcast, DirectTV, a television network or station, etc.) Typically, content is gathered from different content sources (such as sports teams, film companies, content network, etc.). Distribution via communication channel 36. “Other entities such as Apple iTunes, Netflix, Google YouTube, Hulu and peer-to-peer network providers, etc. may also act as content distributors.

The auxiliary material can be delivered via any communication channel 38. Internet 40 is often used. Content can be sourced from a variety of sources including those that produce primary content as well as other sources such as advertisers, Apple App Store vendors, friends on social networks, and others. Some auxiliary content may be a software widget. For example, see patent application 61/150.235.

In one implementation, the second screen content can be wirelessly delivered from a router 42 to devices 14, 16, via a home network. Second screen content can be delivered to wired devices via the home network such as desktop computers 46. However, this is less common.

In FIG. “An example DVR 24” is shown. 2. It includes a network 50 connection (e.g. to the home network 44). A DVR has a video input 52, through which content can be provided. It also has a phone connection. The input 52 can be connected to a device, such as a set-top box, satellite receiver or antenna. It can also be eliminated if the video content is sent to the DVR via the network connection. The phone input allows the DVR to dial into a datacenter and download periodic electronic program guides (EPGs) as well as other instructions. Input 54 can be removed if the data is available through video or network inputs.

The DVR illustrated also includes a CPU 56, an interface 58 (which can include both physical controls as well as on-screen menus/controls), and a remote 60. It also has a data storage 62. The data storage 62 may include both disc and semiconductor storage. The illustrated data store 60 includes operating system software and user interface software as well as application programs. It also contains EPG data (see, for example, Patent Application 61/150.235), software widgets, other data and software modules, and video data.

Data store 60 also contains a number of user-specific information. The data includes user profile information, cell phone data and schedule data. User profile data may include information such as viewing and recording histories, subscriptions to season passes and other standing recordings instructions, ratings and votes for certain programs and other expressed viewing preference. Profile data can also include demographic data such as zip code and user age, gender and data about affinity groups and social groups that the user belongs to, etc.

In more advanced embodiments, profile data can be accessed through various data sources and include the user’s browsing history on the web and other information. This can include any data the user has touched and left traces in, e.g. Google search history; cached web pages; cookies; email archives. Travel reservations on Expedia, Orbitz and iTunes. Music collections on iTunes. Cable television subscriptions. Netflix movies viewed or in-queue. Cell phone billing statements. Credit card statements. Shopping data from Amazon, EBay and GPS tracking data. Social network friends. Data and activities. Activities and postings. This collection can be called a “digital life log .?)

Moreover, the digital life logs of the user’s friends and family, as well as others who share demographic similarity with the user, may also be referred to (all with appropriate anonymization, privacy and security safeguards).

The DVR 24 could also be equipped with a module that allows its location to be determined. A GPS receiver is one such module.

FIG. The figure 3 illustrates an example cell phone 14 with elements like a microphone and a camera, as well as a processor, display/touchscreen, location module, physical user interface, and memory. Memory stores the operating system, user interface, functional software modules, widgets, etc.

The cell phone may use a location module, as described with respect to the DVR.

According to one aspect of present technology, the use of user profile data in conjunction with contextual information is used to estimate (or make an inference or guess) which television program the user might be watching (or watch in the near future). Context information may include the location of the user. The context information can also indicate whether the user is moving or stationary. The context information may also be a television schedule, such as from an EPG, and/or the current date/time.

For example, the profile information could indicate that the user is an avid fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and regularly watches Monday Night Football. The profile information may also indicate that the user is a fan of the University of Oregon basketball, enjoys golf and watches ESPN most of the time.

Location information can identify the user by latitude and lengthenitude. This location can be researched using the geolocation service identified in application Ser. No. The number 12/484.115 (e.g. Yahoo’s GeoPlanet) could indicate that you are at Claude’s Sports Bar in S.E. Hawthorne Avenue is located in Portland, Oreg. Location data can also remain static for a long period of time to indicate that the user has not been driving by the bar.

Without any other data, the System may deduce that the user is likely watching a sport channel on the television in a bar. The user’s profile data shows their interest in sports broadcast on television. Google searches for Claude’s Sports Bar at S.E. Hawthorne, in Portland, has a website full of references to sports and television (?big screen?) ?satellite,? ?channels,? ?football,? etc.). Inference engines take these facts and use them as inputs. They identify a set rules that are relevant, they resolve any conflict between rules and then produce one or more outputs (e.g. the user may be watching television and the television being watched is likely to display sports content).

Artificial intelligence can be used in all of these contexts and others where technology is currently being used. Natural language processing is one branch of artificial intelligent. NLP techniques are used to understand information, such as the terms on the website for Claude’s Sports Bar. U.S. Pat. No. No. 7,383,169 describes how large dictionaries, and other works of language, can be processed using NLP techniques in order to create lexical knowledge databases that are formidable sources of ‘common sense’ Information about the world. Wikipedia can also be used as a reference to create a knowledge database. These common sense skills can be used in the process described here.

With more data, the system could make a more refined or confident estimation?about what the users is doing. If the time and date indicate that it is a Monday night in November, then the system may infer that the user will be watching Monday Night Football. On a Tuesday night, when the University of Oregon plays basketball, it may be assumed that the user is viewing the game on whatever network is broadcasting it.

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