Big Motive’s Smart TV app shows what smart engineers can do #websummit

Big Motive’s Smart TV app shows what smart engineers can do #websummit

When we caught up with Big Motive today at the Dublin Web Summit they had a Big Problem.  Some 4,000 attendees had connected over 8,000 devices to the event’s Wi-Fi causing one hell of a challenge in connecting.

For Big Motive, the Northern Irish company that plans on turning your smart TV into a smart shopping app, this wasn’t ideal but, then again, it wasn’t a disaster.

“Smart TVs don’t have a lot of memory, so you need a data connection to provide the content that users’ demand,” Stephen Shaw, Big Motive’s UX Director explained, “so, at the moment we’re basically hacking together a local version of the TV app.”

With that, the Samsung Smart TV behind us flashed white as a standard Web 2.0 loading wheel spun on screen.  One of Big Motive’s technical gurus had connected one of the two nearby laptops to the TV.  A second later Big Motive’s (@big_motive |Facebook) Motivision app appeared on screen as code scrolled down the adjacent laptop screen.  A Windows 8 Metro-style interface appeared on the TV showing images, videos, and other dynamic content.

Stephen produced a Samsung Galaxy III, opening up the Motovision app and, with it, controlled the TV’s on-screen display.

“A combination of Bluetooth, node.js, and some clever coding,” replies Stephen when we asked him how they got it working today without a data connection.

Having recreated their  app to work entirely locally with nothing but what they had brought to the Web Summit it’s not hard to see why one investor called the company’s app “the best at the summit.”

Big Motive's Motivision working

Big Motive’s Motivision in action

Stephen explains how this clever coding along with Big Motive’s eight years of experience in the media sector had brought the company, and Motovision, to the attention of the smart TV industry.

Timing is also on Big Motive’s side.  With both Ireland the UK about to completely switch from analogue TV to digital with their Saorview and Freeview products, more and more digital TVs are expected to appear in living rooms throughout the British Isles, as well as further afield.

And further afield is where Stephen has his sights set; “We’re already preparing for South by South West in March, that’s when Motovision will be officially launched.”


Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).

More in Entertainment

Cadbury advertising

Is YouTube’s freemium paywall a step too far for the social web?

Ciaran TreacyMay 12, 2013
Doodle 4 Google 2013 Overall Winner

15 year old student gets the chance to redesign Google’s logo for a day

Piers Dillon ScottApril 15, 2013
Google Play Music Store

Google launches its iTunes competitor, Google Play Music, in Ireland

Piers Dillon ScottApril 10, 2013
Google Preditor

Google Street View & Photo Sphere reveal what it’s like to work in Google

Piers Dillon ScottJanuary 23, 2013
Twitter predicts the oscars

Twitter employs sentiment analysis to try and predict who will win at the Oscars

Piers Dillon ScottJanuary 15, 2013
Lego Death Star. Credit:Lego

I’ve got a bad feeling about this: Obama Administration says no to building a Death Star

Piers Dillon ScottJanuary 12, 2013
BBC Belfast offices

BBC pushes its new iPlayer Radio site, blocks Google from indexing current site

Piers Dillon ScottJanuary 8, 2013
Google Santa Tracker

How to track Santa online with Google & NORAD using the web, smartphone apps, & social media

Piers Dillon ScottDecember 19, 2012
What we googled in 2012

For the love of sport (and Katie Taylor) – what the Irish googled in 2012

Piers Dillon ScottDecember 11, 2012