The winner of the Deutsche Telekom Interactive TV Award has been announced. The competition offered a total of one million euro in prize money for developers to come up with a concept for a compelling internet protocol television application. Over a hundred teams entered the awards. The winning entry was a variation of an old interactive television favourite.

The winning concept, called PIN, an instant information system, was from a team led by Austrian couple Marc and Brigitte Trenfield, who call themselves Concepts@Large, together with her nephew, Andreas Regner, a student of informatics. They receive a further €200,000 in prize money.

Pop-up prompts offer relevant information at the edge of the screen which can be called up with the remote control. They can offer links to related web sites, a shopping list for a recipe or details of products featured in programmes. With a push of a button the information can be sent to a personal computer or mobile phone where it can be called up and used later.

Seasoned interactive television professionals will recognise the model, which is sometimes known in the trade as “Jennifer Aniston’s Jumper”. It is named after a well-worn idea, which shows its age, that while watching a popular programme like Friends, a viewer could click to find out more about the sweater worn by one of the stars. As yet, such a vision of interactive television has yet to materialise.

The runners up were creamBOTS with a Live Media Recommendation Network, and 3-frogs with Family Fun, based on a personal social network.

The finalists were judged by a jury of five executives, representing Deutsche Telekom, Microsoft, a television magazine publisher, a professor of new media and the head of digital strategy at ZDF television. They took into account market research from nearly 300 consumers in Berlin and Darmstadt who rated the concepts in terms of fun, satisfaction, uniqueness, usability and likelihood of being used.

“This competition has taken us a great step forward in developing interactive television,” said Sven Hischke, Head of Innovation Management at Deutsche Telekom. “The concepts submitted, not least of course the winning entries, have demonstrated that the fusion and joint use of the Internet and TV is moving forward inexorably and will increasingly determine our television.”