The research arm of Japanese telecommunications company NTT has developed an augmented reality technology to play back second screen content in sync with the TV program you’re watching. DigInfo TV reports that the software, called Visual SyncAR, uses digital watermarking to send encoded timestamps to the camera of your smartphone or tablet. The camera also determines where the device is in relation to the main content on the big screen, so you can see the augmentation from different perspectives depending on where you’re sitting and the angle at which you’re facing the screen.

It suggests using the technology in digital signage

The project isn’t unlike the AR efforts we’ve seen from Disney, Activision, and many others. The big difference is that NTT is playing content back in relation to what’s happening on the bigger screen, and in the video below you can see how it might be used to show animation alongside a music video. The idea sounds interesting, even if NTT's early ideas for applications aren’t the most exciting — it suggests using the technology in digital signage to show special English-language content on the cellphones of Japan’s foreign visitors.