VideoSurf is running a promotion that uses a key element of the new CBS drama Person of Interest to demonstrate what its live television identification app is capable of. Each episode of the Jonathan Nolan and J.J. Abrams show hinges on discovering an unknown stranger who will be involved in a future crime, so VideoSurf played on that concept to devise its contest.
In what may be a coincidence, VideoSurf also announced the appointment of Jeff Clark executive vice president Sales, Marketing and Business Development. Clark joins VideoSurf from CBS Interactive, where he served as vice president and general manager of Entertainment. During his tenure he was responsible for the network’s flagship property CBS.com and the distribution of all online ad-supported video. Prior to CBS, Clark was a co-founder of Dotspotter, an early social media platform that was acquired by CBS.
To enter the competition, fans watch the thriller and point their phone at the TV screen using VideoSurf’s V-ID feature, then the app uses its facial recognition technology to identify which character is the “person of interest” for each week’s episode. Viewers who identify the correct character will be automatically entered for a chance to win a sweepstakes that includes weekly prizes, as well as a grand prize trip to Los Angeles.
Among those who invested $28 million in VideoSurf are: Al Gore, former U.S. vice president; Joel Hyatt, CEO and co-founder of Current Media (and chairman of VideoSurf’s board); Hanan Gilutz, management consultant with McKinsey & Co.; David Goldberg, CEO of Survey Monkey; and Pitango Venture Capital. The company reports that VideoSurf reaches more than 20 million unique users per month.
CBS describes: In Person of Interest, Mr. Finch (Michael Emerson), a mysterious billionaire, has developed a computer program that predicts the identity of people connected to violent crimes that will take place in the future. However, the program has its limitations; for example, it cannot predict whether the person will be a victim, perpetrator, or witness, nor can it predict when or where the crime will take place. Unable to stop the crimes on his own, Finch hires John Reese (Jim Caviezel), a former CIA field officer who is presumed dead, to help stop the crimes from taking place.