OtherScreen.com: A Social Experiment

Local start-up is proof of Charlotte’s thriving tech community
Local start-up OtherScreen pairs the social experience of television watching with the interactivity of the Web.

If you and your friends have vicious debates about who won’t get a rose on the next episode of The Bachelorette, you’re not alone—but you probably didn’t know you could get points for being right.

With the new Charlotte-based startup OtherScreen.com, television viewers can mesh the social experience of watching a TV show with the interactive options offered by the Web.

CEO Chris Halligan got the idea for the site when he realized his sixteen-year-old son was paying more attention to his cellphone than the baseball game he was watching on television.

“I sent him a few texts [from across the room] asking him what he thought would happen next,” Halligan says. “As soon as I did that, he immediately started paying more attention to the game.”

This surge in using computers or cellphones while watching TV is the trend the OtherScreen team counts on. The site offers several shows to choose from, and asks engaging questions about what you’re watching: Which team will score the next touchdown? Which contestant will be eliminated next? Every time you predict the right outcome, you get points.

As you accumulate more points against your friends (you can create private groups depending on whom you want to compete with and over which shows), your total will be calculated on a leader board, offering bragging rights for the highest scorers.

“It makes television watching more fun because you’re doing it with like-minded individuals,” Halligan says. “It’s like hanging out at a neighborhood sports bar.”

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