Whilst on the train heading here I saw a billboard for fortitude, a new series on sky. This was the foundation event of our app, I didn't know if it was something I'd watch, it would be great to have an app that would tell me!
What it does
'What to Watch' is a web-based system which is easily accessible on all platforms (tablet, mobile, desktop or laptop) which stores all your favorite TV shows, depending on how often you watch them, and suggest new shows for you to watch, for example if you like watching simpsons the app would suggest futurama.
How we built it
We wrote our front-end using PHP and Bootstrap to make a fast, clean and easily navigable UI, our database was retrieved from sky's 'API' and converted into a database file we then filtered and collected from using mySQL.
Challenges we ran into
The initial database that sky offered was a set of excel files cluttered with tags unique to single shows or even episodes i.e. the tags 'uk_crime_drama'' and 'crime_drama' in the same group of tags instead of 'uk' and 'crime_drama'. Use of tags like this use up more than half of the space holding the tags.
What we learned
We learned that it is probably best to work in a larger team with a larger variety of knowledge (someone to work on the front end, someone on the back end, design etc.) We also learned that trying to fit API's in to reach goals for prizes isn't a great idea when you don't have the foundations to stick them on (hence the lack of esri and twilio).
What's next for What to watch?
It may be re-implemented for another, less restrictive platform such as Netflix or freeview channels (however there isn't an ongoing basis for these that I know about).