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Gracenote audio matching company buys Bulldog, hoping to add video recognition

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Audio matching service Gracenote has acquired Bulldog United, which makes video recognition software. It hopes to integrate the software directly into smart TVs to match programs users are watching.


Gracenote, the company that provides tools to identify and recommend music or detect what users are watching on TV, is apparently moving into video recognition as well. According to GigaOm, Gracenote will soon announce that it's buying Bulldog United, which specializes in video recognition. Gracenote CEO Stephen White has said that he's realized audio alone, usually gathered through a phone or tablet's microphone, isn't always enough to "fingerprint" programming. A corresponding video system could give it more accurate results, which would then be used to show relevant content like social features or related shows. With Bulldog, White hopes to put the new Gracenote in TVs and possibly set-top boxes early next year.

When it launches, the service will be competing with others like ConnecTV, which uses audio recognition. Other video recognition tools have been popping up as well, including Shazam-like TvTak. When it launches, Gracenote hopes the system will be built directly into smart TVs.