Software developer Ionoco has come-up with a new technology for television phone-ins that it says will help to both restore public trust in broadcasters and act as entertainment.

Matrix is a graphical selection system designed for television competitions. It is a 3D virtual grid that represents phone-in participants in a visual way. It allocates a unique position to a caller using a set of co-ordinates that relate to the grid, which can be as large or small as necessary.

A caller will be allocated their co-ordinates during their call or text and can give personal details, a name and part of phone number or even a photograph, then view their position on the matrix via the web or a text.

The Matrix can be represented by a screen in a studio, or even as a virtual studio that the presenter can walk around.

When a prize winner or caller is about to be selected, the programme makers can show the grid.

Ionoco chairman David Walton said: “The axis co-ordinates will be generated randomly by lottery balls for example and the camera can scan across one axis then down the next until it reaches the winner. Suspense is built into the system.”
He also said that the winners will be impossible to fix as the data generated will be completely random.

The product was presented to 55 production companies and networks - including Endemol, 2 Way Traffic and Virgin Media - last week (week beginning 12 May).

Ionoco specialises in graphics and control systems for the broadcast, lottery and gaming markets worldwide. Built on the proprietary software platform ionologic and run from bespoke ionocore computers, ionoco systems have been used in more than 1000 productions, 12,000 TV episodes and 60 countries.