Rovi Opens to the Cloud

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Program guide specialist Rovi has announced Rovi Media Cloud, a suite of web services designed to enable the creation of new products, services, and applications for the connected consumer.

Essentially, the company is opening up its metadata, advertising, recommendations, search, media recognition, and user and device management capabilities and handing over APIs for CE manufacturers and service providers to develop new services.

Explains Charles Dawes, Rovi product development director EMEA: "What we've seen over last year are customers looking to take the next step in terms of product and specifically looking for ways to connect the myriad of IP-enabled devices so that their customer's experience is a seamless one. By opening up access to our data and technologies through APIs, we believe our customers and third party developers can more quickly and easily develop solutions across all types of devices.

"Putting the cloud at the back-end allows customers to take existing and new services, put them onto devices and bring a holistic view of their customer's media use. In turn it empowers consumer to discover new entertainment experiences."

To stimulate the market, Rovi is showing two customer focused applications at CES. A "what's on TV" app for the iPad leverages the search and recommendation technology that Rovi acquired from MediaUnbound purchased last March.

Rovi iPad

"There are lots of search and recommendation vendors around but the real advantage is to link it with Rovi's vast metadata resources and expertise," says Dawes. "We're not just operating on algorithms. Instead we have a constant feedback loop which our editorial professionals will supervise and keep updated and relevant."

A second sample application is Rovi mobile music for the iPhone, which uses the company's music metadata resources and transfers it to the iPhone along with links to purchasing opportunities.

Rovi iPhone

The suite of services includes ones for advertising, data, recommendations, search, and media recognition. The latter enables companies to enhance their entertainment offerings by recognizing and tagging physical and digital media files with rich entertainment metadata.

The services sit on Rovi-owned data clusters across the U.S. and Europe so users don't have the CAPEX cost of investing in infrastructure.

"It lowers the barrier of entry," says Dawes. "Traditionally, customers have had to think about how to power their service. Now they can just focus on what app they are going to develop."

On Rovi ‘s recent acquisition of Sonic Solutions, Dawes says the combined company will enable developers to have access to a breadth of services and capabilities including content discovery, delivery, metatdata, recommendations, advertising, and interactivity services.

"Sonic brings news capabilities to Rovi, and we will be looking at how we can integrate the two companies' technologies once the transaction closes," he says. "Specifically we will look at closer integration with Sonic technologies and TotalGuide, Rovi Metadata, search, recommendations, and the other services in the Rovi Media Cloud."

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