Have you ever struggled to figure out what you should watch with your friends? CineMatch, a novel social streaming service, will help pair you and your friends with the perfect film or show to watch. Users can join sessions with their friends, and the app has a swiping interface (similar to a dating app) for determining the optimal title to watch. The app also highlights a Global Theatre to help replicate the experience of watching movies with similar interested strangers from the comfort of your home.
Core Functionality (Developed)
CineMatch is a cross-platform, mobile first application. This guided our design decision from the onset as we were hoping to replicate the UI/UX of a dating app (and we largely succeeded at that goal). The app deploys natively to iOS and Android, and can also be run from CineMatch.xyz either in-browser or as a progressive-web app, providing a standalone native like experience for those unable to install the app from the app store. This was also deliberate, as it will help us quickly distribute the app during the VTHacks Demo.
The app was built using Flutter as the front-end and Google Firebase Firestore as our back-end / database. We chose this suite because we believed by staying in the Google Cloud ecosystem it would make for a more positive developer experience.
Additional Features (Prototype)
After building out the core functionalities of our app in Flutter, we used Figma to prototype our vision for the full app experience. By utilizing Figma we allow potential users to understand the full power of CineMatch, and visualize how the currently developed components can be further nuanced overtime. Within the prototype is a vision for how the Global Theater would be implemented, with an example heat map.
This is only the start for CineMatch. There are a variety of other features our team would've loved to implement if we had the time and plan to include in the future.
Changes to Development
Automatic Time-Out - The app currently requires the user to hit a button identifying that they are done swiping after 2 minutes has elapsed, but we would like to add an automatic timeout for the swiping after 2 minutes has elapsed. Feature Build-Out - For the purposes of the Hackathon we built out the core functionality of the application but if we had more time we would've loved to build out all of the additional features found in the prototype.
Future Feature Ideas
Social Networking - See what your friends are currently watching similar to apps like Venmo and Discord In House Streaming - Connect with streaming services to allow you to stream videos directly on the app Global Leaderboard - Highlight most active users on Global Theatre Weekly Challenges (Featured Films) - Add featured films to initial landing page Robust Explore Page - Currently, users can explore the entire catalog of content on the homepage, however it would be nice to ingrate more information and a search functionality on that page. Session Sharing through Text - Integrate Twilio to allow users to text session links to their friends to allow them to automatically join, or prompt them to downloading the app.
We have loved spending this weekend designing, ideating, and building CineMatch and we are excited for the apps bright future. We highly encourage you to use our Figma link to see a simulated experience of the app or check out our Github, to install Flutter and play around with a local version yourself! Join us on our journey to reshape the at home streaming experience with CineMatch!