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Zodiac debuts TV-based local business search with VoIP

Thu, 01/18/2007 - 6:30am
Brian Santo, CED

Zodiac Interactive, which seems to be positioning itself with an interesting new URL, today announced the availability of a new application called TVLocalSearch that aims to increase the value of the integration of video and voice services.

TVLocalSearch allows consumers to use the TV to search for local businesses without interrupting the ongoing programming. The service is designed to combine with Zodiac's TVCallME, which allows viewers to connect to the local business by telephone with a click of their remotes.

With TVLocalSearch and TVCallME, a viewer can click a button on their standard TV remote control and pull up a menu that offers a variety of products and services, ranging from news, games, fantasy sports scores, traffic, shopping and entertainment, to billing applications. 

From there, the viewer can select TVLocalSearch and quickly locate a business of interest in the area, either through a keyword or category search. Once the business is located, the viewer can click on the TVCallME button to speak to the local business. Zodiac's TVCallME service calls the viewer first and then the business, instantly connecting them through VoIP  technology. This service can be further enhanced by enabling local businesses to display full showcases of their products, from restaurant menus to bank finance rates.

Zodiac Interactive COO Alexander Libkind said, "Operators can move beyond the traditional advertising CPM model and earn a transactional fee on every call. Unlike other transactional services that require deep integration with vendors' back-end systems, TVCallME allows any vendor to display its services in a yellow pages-like environment with an immediate call to action."

TVLocalSearch requires a local listing service. The company has used Yahoo! Local Search, but said the technology will work with any listing service.

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