A social streaming cross platform application. Allowing friends to watch TV shows and movies together, incorporating video and text chat.
The application uses all available screens to create a wholesome experience. A big screen TV can be hooked up to the laptop and will show the program, while the laptop will be used to show the other viewers via video. The mobile phone can be used as a remote, and to text the other viewers during the show.
This app allows for a unique opportunity. Not only will it let friends who are far away watch shows together, but the app will allow them to actually see their reactions, which doesn’t happen when sitting next to each other.
The application is based on streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, HBOgo and others. The application serves as a hub, allowing you to reach all the content from one place. One viewer functions as the host, providing all the other viewers with content.
The ideal situation is one in which the user has a television, a computer and a mobile phone. That way the content can be distributed comfortably through the devices in such a way that the television will include only the program being watched, while the computer will show the video chat with friends, and the camera will show the user. The mobile phone will be used as a remote and as a way to text friends during the session.
Our intention is to have a web based application for all devices, accompanied by browser plug-ins:
The personal dashboard is the main screen of the application. From the dashboard you can start a new session, join a current public session, or ask to join a current session of a friend. You can also look at your list of shows to watch, your “Home Theatre”. You can see your schedule: any upcoming sessions you are going to join, and reply to invitations from friends.
You can add new items to your Home Theatre by using the search box.
The settings page allows you to link your profile to different streaming services and social accounts.
The search results display links of the title you are looking for, available through free services and those you are registered for. For instance “Finding Nemo” will be available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and Netflix (if you have an account). The search will also include results from google. In addition, a description from IMDB will appear.
Once you find the link you want, you can add it to your Home Theatre, in order to watch now, or later. You can add a few links to the same title in case you need to.
The plug-in allows you to add items to your “Home Theatre” right from your browser, similarly to the way you bookmark pages. So if you come across a show you would like to watch later with your friends, you can just add it right from the webpage.
Once you invite friends and start a video session, you can talk to your friends and decide together what will be watched. Any viewer can add titles to the “Projector”, which is the session’s playing list, from their personal Home Theatre. In the case of a private session, all viewers can supply the content and the Projector starts showing the list when you press play. In the ideal situation, the chosen program is then shown on the television screen, while the computer displays the video chat with your friends.
You have the option to rearrange your friends on the screen, to mute them or turn off cameras individually and add more friends to the session.
The phone is used to control the content – mute, pause, play, back 10 seconds, fast forward etc. A text chat via the phone lets you talk to your friends during the session without disturbing them.
The phone also allows you to control the video chat arrangement and see the playing lists: Home Theatre and Projector.
As opposed to a private session, the only one in control of the content and the controls in a public session is the host. In this case there is only one host supplying the content and the rest are just viewers. There is a unique opportunity in public sessions, to invite special guests to the “VIP seats”. An example would be to have a special public screening of “Finding Nemo”, and invite Ellen DeGeneres to watch the movie from the VIP seat; that way, viewers can watch Ellen watching the movie with them. This could be part of a promotion for the upcoming Finding Dory, and could include a live video chat with Ellen and other cast members after the screening of the movie. Instead of having a mass texting session, each public session would have a designated hashtag, like #GoFindDory and the twitter feed will be shown in the session.
•We would like to produce our own database, and collect data like rating and favorites.
•We would like to incorporate social networks, sharing events and invitations and seeing what friends are watching and what they like.
•Recording sessions and viewers reactions to shows, opportunity for social sharing and also for getting user feedback on content. (Record users’ reactions during commercials?).
•Incorporate infra red camera’s to allow viewing in the dark?
•Having live show session – for TV programs that are live – for instance a cooking show with fan viewers can all cook together.
Created in the framework of Interactive Prototyping class, collaboration with Mozzila, spring 2013.