“I created Disruptel to make the TV viewing experience better for me and for my friends,” Alex Quinn, founder and CEO of Disruptel, said. “Like most Gen Z viewers, I think smart TVs are not as smart as they should be. We were never given the truly smart and interactive TV we were promised, so we are creating it ourselves.”
The seed funding round for the smart TV tech startup company was led by investors Progress Ventures and PJC. Other investors backing the startup AI business included Dataxu co-founders Mike Baker and Bill Simmons, as well as Adam Cheyer, voice assistant expert and co-founder of Siri, the voice assistant from Apple. Disruptel also recently closed out a successful $1.8 million pre-seed funding round for its business in early February.
Watching With AI
Founded by Quinn in 2017, the startup AI business out of St. Louis, Missouri, seeks to increase user engagement with their smart TVs by developing AI software capable of identifying what is being watched.
The AI startup company currently offers two products for users: Context and Smart Screen. Smart Screen utilizes AI facial recognition to identify actors and actresses on the screen. Users can simply pause the program, and the software built by the AI business will automatically identify the celebrities on screen and display information about their other roles as well as similar content.
Context, the second offering from the software company, is touted as “the world's first visually-aware artificial intelligence assistant.” Users simply ask the AI questions about what they are watching, and the software responds on-screen in real-time without navigating away from the program. Beyond this, the software from the startup company allows users to purchase products displayed or even place bets on the sporting events as they are watching.
A New Way to Watch and Advertise
Beyond simply enhancing the viewing experience for consumers, Disruptel is tapping into the business of advertising on connected devices. According to market research, advertisers are projected to spend $18.29 billion on connected TV ads in the US by 2024. The Smart Screen software is already in beta testing as a Google Chrome extension for those watching Netflix on their web browser.
About the Author
James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a B.S. in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.