YouTube and Google TV LA Hackaton Winners Show the Future of TV

YouTube and Google TV held a hackaton in Los Angeles to encourage developers to build on their platforms. Read on for Google's pitch to developers and the apps that won.

YouTube Hackathon Symbol

YouTube Hackathon Symbol

YouTube and Google TV held a hackaton in Los Angeles to encourage developers to build on their platforms. Read on for Google’s pitch to developers and the apps that won.


Google’s Pitch to Developers

YouTube Opportunity

There is more to YouTube than you realize:

YouTube’s mission is to collect, store and stream as much video as possible. The company is investing heavily to make it attractive for developers to work with their platform. YouTube is rolling out solutions for startups like video hosting and video players that can be customized. YouTube said big media companies love the analytics that can be gained from their platform when distributing content via YouTube.

Google TV Opportunity

Why should app developers build to TV platforms?

The TV statistics for the U.S. are staggering:

  • 166,000 years of TV are watched every day.
  • There are more TVs than people.
  • 30% of TVs will be Internet connected soon.

Should your startup spend scarce resources developing apps for the young Internet TV market instead of the iPad? Its debatable, but the long-term TV app opportunity is real.

GoogleTV YouTube Hackathon LogoHackathon Winners

“TV US” app: Embeds a live video stream of your friends into your TV.

This app can overlay a live feed of your friends onto any screen, including your TV or YouTube videos. This hackathon team promised to “put the social back into TV,” letting you talk to and see your friends while watching TV.

Tech: The app uses the new YouTube player and the Android API – accessing Google Hangout API’s “On Air” capability.

“Giggle” app: Discover concert information and touring bands through YouTube.

This app mashes up SongKick concert data and YouTube to create a platform for 1) finding upcoming shows of bands you like, 2) discovering new bands whose shows you might otherwise miss, and 3) purchasing tickets to these shows. The app streams the most popular YouTube videos of bands and enables one click purchasing. Tech: This app is all JavaScript, using JS to call the SongKick and YouTube APIs.

“Vid Social” app: Video commenting timeline to engage with past viewers.

When you watch a video or time-delayed TV, there is plenty of social activity that is relevant to your viewing but which happened long ago. This app allows people’s comments, tweets, etc. to be attached to particular moments in a show, then played back later at the right moment. Better yet, you can immediately skip to the most popular part of a video visually. Tech: YouTube metadata API.

“Glassroom” app: School collaboration using GoogleTV and students’ smartphones

This app lets teachers get real-time feedback on video lessons they use in classrooms. Students can give anonymous feedback via their smartphones, and teachers can see their comments and questions on their Google TVs via the app.

Analytics: Long term, teachers could figure out where in lessons the majority of kids get stuck.

Tech: Teachers create lesson plans via the YouTube API (video playlists).

“Swanky” app: Pushes content to your phone related to video you are watching

Swanky is a smart remote control that allows Google+ users with smartphones to discover, enjoy and share extra content about what they are watching right in their phones. You can do this all without interupting the Google TV watching experience of those in the room by using the main screen for this interactivity.

Tech: Two apps – Google TV app plus Android app, connected via UDP protocol.

Judges and Prizes

The Hackathon was judged by:

Nanea Reeves – Chief Operating Officer – Machinima

George Strompolos – Founder & CEO – Fullscreen

Paul Carff – Senior Developer Advocate – Google (not pictured)

Winning teams received Nexus 7 Tablets.

The team that built the best overall app, “TV US”, won an LG Google TV.