Sky TV to enable customers to use iPhones and iPads as remote controls


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The Independent Tech

Sky television customers who own iPhones and iPads will soon be able to use their Apple devices as a remote control.

The satellite broadcaster has struck a deal with Zeebox - a company which produces an app combining live programme information, real-time viewing figures and social networking - taking a 10 per cent share.

Zeebox's functionality will be integrated into Sky's own applications including Sky+ and Sky Go.

This will allow Sky users to access their Sky+ box on the move and use their iPhone or iPad as a remote control for their Sky box.

The new service will launch in the first half of this year. As part of the deal, Sky users will be able to connect with friends, find television information and buy TV-related products.

Zeebox was launched in October 2011 by Anthony Rose, the BBC's former technology chief, and Ernesto Schmitt, a former EMI board director.

As part of the deal Sky Media will become the exclusive advertising sales agent for zeebox’s synchronised advertising inventory.

Emma Lloyd, Sky’s Director of Emerging Products, said: “The integration of zeebox’s innovative technology will enable us to make the companion device experience even richer and more engaging.  We know that millions of our customers have smartphones and tablets and regularly use them to engage with Sky on mobile devices, so it’s a natural next step for us.”

Ernesto Schmitt, zeebox’s co-founder and CEO, added: "Thanks to Sky's backing we now also have the resources and expertise to set our sights firmly on international expansion alongside further innovation here in the UK and Ireland."