Sky has invested in Canadian user interface technology company You.i TV. Based in Ottawa, You.i TV offers an innovative cross-platform video experience development system based on its You.i Engine One software platform. The name You.i TV is a clever play on user interface for television.
You.i TV offers a video experience platform to deliver across multiple platforms with a highly efficient architecture designed for maximum code reuse. Now supporting React Native, an open-source development framework pioneered by Facebook, You.i Engine One supports unified app development across multiple devices, including mobiles, tablets, consoles and connected televisions.
The software binds React Native to a single cross-platform application framework. Engine One claims to support iOS, Android, Android TV, Fire TV, TV OS, Web OS, Roku, Tizen, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
It includes an abstracted cross-platform player interface, pre-integrated with native platform video players, with support for live and on-demand video, including digital rights management and captioning.
There is a screen interaction model, with support for directional pad controllers and touch-based gesture.
There is also the option to use Adobe After Effects to model user interfaces and animations, an approach that may appeal to many designers.
“The backing of Sky, alongside our existing strategic investors, highlights the fact that You.i TV is at the forefront of the trend solving the world of device fragmentation as consumers demand content everywhere,” said You.i TV co-founder and chief executive Jason Flick.
With the investment, part of a wider funding round that has already raised $23 million, David Beazley, the director of software engineering at the Sky online video service NOW TV, will join the You.i TV board, along with representatives from AT&T, Causeway Media Partners, and Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Sky and You.i TV share a vision to connect customers to great content, via easy, frictionless user experiences,” said David Beazley of Sky. “Through this investment, both Sky and You.i TV will be able to share learnings and gain insights into how world-class viewing experiences can be easily replicated across multiple devices.”
Sky will join AT&T, A+E Networks, Fox, NBA and Twitch in using the You.i Engine. Sky, which is the leading media and entertainment company in Europe, is now part of the Comcast Group.