Wednesday, June 22, 2011

MOVL Apps for Google TV - Connected devices and shared experiences

Guest post by MOVL

If your household is anything like ours, you probably notice everyone tapping away on their phones with their attention bouncing back and forth between the TV and the phone or tablet. So we thought, wouldn’t it be great if we could create an experience that takes advantage of the fact that everyone uses their mobile device while crowded around the TV, and create something that brings people together into a shared social experience.

We come from a long background of developing web based apps that focus on real-time social experiences, and we’ve been watching the connected TV space anxiously waiting for a way to bring our ideas to the living room. When GoogleTV unleashed the web experience right on our TV, they did it in a way that blurs the lines in how we consume TV and web based content. That’s when we decided to jump in and start developing apps specifically for TV.

Our first app WeDraw.tv, is a drawing/guessing game where the TV acts as the game board and players use their Android and iOS devices as game controllers to draw pictures and guess secret words. You can find it in the GoogleTV Spotlight and it’s most fun when you get several people playing together in real time.



WeDraw is a big success and proved that people really like this shared experience around the TV. From a developer’s perspective, we were able to utilize the same techniques for building web based apps, and easily translate them to the TV experience.

Another app we are working on for GoogleTV is PokerFun.tv, which expands on this idea by providing a way to link multiple TVs in different households into one social experience. In PokerFun, the TV acts as the poker table, and players use their mobile devices to hold their cards and place their bets. Here’s a video overview of how it works.


The social and interactive nature of the web translates seamlessly to the TV living room experience, especially when combined with the power of using mobile devices as controllers and companions to the TV. We particularly like the Google TV platform for our apps because it gives us a way to link multiple devices to the TV, plus a full web browser to build on.

We think the future of TV apps will be one where mobile devices play a critical role, so we’ll be continuously updating our lineup of multi-device apps for Google TV. We’re just getting started and excited about where the platform is headed and there’s no doubt the connected TV space is heating up.

Alan Queen - CTO and Founder of MOVL