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A new iPad app called Luma recently launched on the iOS App Store, and its goal is to help you decide exactly what you want to watch on your TV. It does this by aggregating shows and movies from your subscription services like HBO Go, Netflix, Hulu and your cable channels, and creates a personalized guide of content it hopes you find interesting.

Aaron Weber, founder of Luma (formerly known as Inveni.com), mentioned to TechCrunch that it takes most users an average of eight minutes to decide what to watch, according to the company’s internal data. They found that average to be unacceptable.

“We thought that was ridiculous and there were no tools to actually solve this problem,” said Weber.

“So we’ve spent the last three years working with engineers and creating all these different solutions to the problem.”

“When I looked at [the Netflix prize] and what people were doing, as an entrepreneur, it became clear that this was not an engineering / science-type problem that needed to be solved. This was a data problem.”

Luma’s solution to the “what to watch” issue is simple: a combination of crowdsourcing and human intellect. The company has tasked over 300 movie experts to match up similar movies and shows, and have made nearly 600,000 potential recommendation suggestions. The rest is handled by engineered algorithms, which puts the list of content links at roughly 11 million.

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How Luma makes and regulates these content matches is still somewhat of a company secret, and they’re in the process of patenting the process.

Right now, you can load up Luma on your iPad, sync it with your online streaming services, and use it to channel all of your subscription content. For the moment, Luma exists as a conduit to the other streaming apps on your iPad – meaning selecting a show sourced from Netflix will result in opening the Netflix app to the desired content, same for HBO Go and the rest.

Soon, though, the company hopes to add live TV options into Luma. Partners like Direct TV, Google TV, Dish, and Tivo are potentially on board (or at least being talked to), and even support of devices like the Chromecast are on the table.

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Luma also plans to add a variety of viewing suggestions that haven’t been offered before, such as a feature to offer group-viewing recommendations (like family movies, for example.)

Luma is available now for free via the iOS App Store, and is currently exclusive to the iPad.


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