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Cognitive Lands ‘Smart Client’ Patent

Cognitive Networks, a company that specializes in cloud-based services that power enhanced TV apps that sync up with live or time-shifted video on connected TVs, has secured a patent tied to its “smart client” technology.

The patent – U.S. No. 8,769,584 – describes “Methods for displaying contextually targeted content on a connected television” using data derived from television signals. The company said its client system taps cloud-computing resources to enable intelligence in the smart TV environment, thereby benefiting third-party apps that operate in that same environment.

The patent locked in this month is the second for Cognitive. Last year, the company received a U.S. patent for its core automatic content recognition (ACR) technology.

Founded in 2008, Cognitive, now led by cable vet Michael Collette, launched its baseline “Engage” system last year. The HTML5-based platform uses ACR technology to monitor what consumers are viewing on TV and to trigger and serve up interactive apps, such as polls, quizzes or advertising.

Among Cognitive’s initial partners, LG is using its platform in newer model smart TV models to support “SHO Sync,” an app from Showtime Networks that delivers interactive features that sync up with live, on-demand or DVR-recorded versions of original series. Cognitive has also customized a show-reminder app developed by Visible World for the National Geographic Channel. 

In April, the broadcast groups involved in the Pearl group announced that they will test interactive content and advertising services via LG-made smart TVs in three markets using technology from both Cognitive and Watchwith.