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Using mobile apps for interactive television

I’ve known Penn Jillette and Teller for a pretty long time now. We used to spend late nights hanging out in diners in New Jersey at all kinds of late hours.  They have always been amazingly creative and early adopters.

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Tomorrow night will be the premier of their new show "Penn and Teller Tell a Lie" on the Discovery Channel at 10:00pm eastern.  I’m sure it will be awesome.  The preview that I saw has flamethrowers and all kinds of coolness.  The idea is that they put forward 7 pretty unlikely scenarios, one of which is a lie.  The others while hard to believe are true.  The challenge for the viewer is to figure out which one of the bunch is the fake.

 

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As you can see from the app screenshot above, the first episode involves steering a plane with its doors instead of the rudders.  The concept of the show is that they take The iphone app allow you to vote real time while watching the show. 

I had been indirectly involved in the text messaging for American Idol, and I have always wondered why more interactive TV has not been more widely adopted.  I guess American Idol wasn’t successful enough. People talk about "engagement", but tend to actually just broadcast. 

All of it has got my attention.  I’m really looking forward to watching it tomorrow.

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