TV show invites viewer avatars to join in by mobile

If pushing red buttons willy-nilly when watching TV isn’t sufficiently interactive for the attention-deficient youth of the world, then a new Japanese game show centred on mobile phones could do the trick.

The new show, from TV Asahi and called ‘Biggest Star, Power of Laughter Test’ (it’s catchier in Japanese), starts on 14 June with the help of a Hong Kong software developer.

Artificial Life

Artificial Life has provided its SMS Galaxy software to the show to enable a live on-screen 3D environment that interfaces with viewers’ mobile phones.

In spite of the software name, participants will sign up by mobile email – SMS isn’t widely used in Japan – to control their cartoon-style avatars as they appear on the show.

Vast landscape

The Asahi version of SMS Galaxy can handle over 100,000 simultaneous participants thanks to dedicated game servers that run the software and handle incoming requests for action.

Artificial Life’s CEO, Eberhard Schoneburg, says: “We are excited to be airing our first interactive TV show in Japan. The format of the show is very unique, even for Japan, in that viewers will be able to interact with live 3D representations of themselves in the form of cute animated avatars as well as to participate and interact with the show’s host in real time.”

As for the content of the programme, it’s sure to feature slapstick gags galore and loud guffaws from the simpleton presenter. So, it’s pretty much like normal Saturday-night telly, then?

Check out the promo video clip here if you don't believe us. It’s in Japanese, but you’ll get the idea…

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.