For drawing your eyes back to the TV.
Television manufacturers don’t really care what you watch on your TV, as long as that screen is the No. 1 entertainment device in your home. That’s why Ty Ahmad-Taylor and his team are constantly asking themselves, How do we provide the best experience on a TV screen so you don’t have to look down? While his hardware colleagues focus on Samsung’s curved, ultra–HD screens, Ahmad-Taylor’s Social TV app mines the stream of closed- captioning data embedded in all TV programs and uses that to search social networks like Twitter and Facebook to tap into a show’s real-time zeitgeist. “We have one approach for sports, one for entertainment, and one for news,” Ahmad-Taylor says. “They’re tailored to pull out the best results in those particular categories,” which are then displayed to the right of the main program’s image. When a celebrity’s name is hilariously mispronounced during an awards show, for example, you won’t have to look down at your phone, even if it’s a Samsung, to gauge the reaction. Only available in the U.S. right now, Social TV was launched in late 2013 and will be rolled out to other parts of the world if it catches on (and early metrics are promising, says a spokesman). This pacesetting foray into enhanced TV viewing is one way Samsung plans to maintain its advantage–26% global market share–over rivals such as LG and Sony.