National Geographic Channel will experiment with delivering synchronized content to viewers' iPads with this month's premieres of Expedition Week and Knights of Mayhem.
The network will use the app from startup Umami, scheduled to launch Tuesday, to deliver "companion content" for its fourth installment of Expedition Week, a weeklong series of programming that premieres Monday (Nov. 7), and Knights of Mayhem, which debuts Nov. 15.
Umami's iPad app uses a proprietary audio fingerprinting technique to identify live and time-shifted programming from 40 broadcast and cable networks. The app then displays information related to the show, including bios, photos, news, social media chatter and -- potentially -- ads.
Umami claims several other partners will go live on the app in the coming weeks but the startup declined to identify them. In addition, the app will provide content for certain popular shows independently.
Companies targeted the "second screen" space include Nielsen's MediaSync, Shazam Entertainment, Yahoo's IntoNow, Spot411 Technologies, SecondScreen Networks and Yap.tv. Another category is TV "check-in" apps from GetGlue and Miso, which let viewers share what they're watching on social networks and earn rewards for being avid fans.
The Umami app for the iPad is scheduled to debut in Apple's iTunes App Store on Tuesday (Nov. 8). A video showing a demo of the app is available at http://vimeo.com/umamitv/umamitvforipad.
New York-based Umami was formed in the summer of 2010 and this spring raised $1.65 million in seed funding from Battery Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and independent investors.
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