For the Samsung Smart TV Challenge 2011, I created a SmartTV application together with a friend. The idea was to create a social quiz application that allows people to create quizzes on Facebook. The quizzes can then be played on a friend’s device. Results are again posted on facebook.

Check the following video to get an idea of the gameplay:

Technically, the SmartTV application was built with HTML and JavaScript. Unfortunately, the SDK and the TVs of the 2010 platform had a very poor HTML4 implementation so we had many challenges to solve on our way to submission. The major pitfall was the YouTube integration as the Adobe Flash support was really poor.

The backend running on Google App Engine was developed with Java. Here, the interesting part of the implementation was connecting Facebook to the backend. Also connecting Facebook to the TV was tough, as we did not want the users to have to enter their user data on a TV, first because of security and second because of the cumbersome numerical keyboard on the remote.

Unfortunately we did not make it to the finals but it was worth the effort for learning more about developing for SmartTV environments. In particular I was surprised how comfortable it is to navigate the app by the cursor on the remote as this was rather slow on the emulator.

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