BigPlay is an interactive technology that enables hundreds of spectators to participate in real-time experiences on video walls and digital billboards using their smartphone. With permanently connected devices in our pockets, BigPlay can turn every screen into a rich social playground for live audiences.

Users connect to screen experiences simply through a URL, or as a dedicated smartphone app. The phone then becomes a personalized controller, leveraging the visual interface of the phone screen and its internal sensors for multi-player gaming, surveys and audience participation. BigPlay is designed to offer:

  • Unique social experiences for crowds at large venues
  • Deeper and longer user interactions with screen content
  • Measurable analytics on participation
  • User data from autonomous screens through offers and rewards post-participation

The technology supports any screen, or multiple adjacent screens, that are connected to the web. It is designed for use in:

  • Sports stadiums
  • Shop windows
  • Outdoor billboards, Public signage
  • Waiting areas, Office lobbies
  • Classrooms, Conferences
  • Exhibitions, Museums
  • Airports

The game or experience is designed to run inside a single or multiple browsers set to fill the big screen. Using either a dedicated app, or within the visuals on the screen the audience are presented with a URL to access the game. Once a smartphone or tablet is connected to the game, a unique avatar appears on the game screen and a game controller appears on the users device to direct their unique avatar. After the interaction the system is able to refresh content on the mobile phone to capture data or offer user rewards.

BigPlay offers a range of services for large screen owners and content agencies keen to maximize public interactions with screens and branded content. Experiences will be tailor-made to the dimensions of the screen, the context of the environment and needs of the client, including:

  • Design consultations
  • Art asset creation
  • Bespoke development
  • User testing
  • Installation
  • Servicing
  • Analytics

The back-end software runs on a single server instance, either a remote machine or a hosted virtual server, which includes:

1. A core engine (built in C++) for synchronizing client connections (both mobiles and big screens) and implementing the game logic.
2. Multi-threaded and redundant socket server instances (built in Node.js) to process mobile and screen connections and guarantee performance and stability.
3. A logging tool for recording users and scores, crash recovery and bug fixes.

The front-end software has been developed using standard web development technologies: HTML, JavaScript and CSS. It is highly integrated with the back-end, including:

1. A renderer for the big screen(s) to display the game through a standard web browser (ideally Chrome) to allow for rapid setup and almost universal support.
2. A mobile controller designed for use in the smartphone’s browser for all Android or iOS devices, or as a dedicated mobile app.
3. A control dashboard for displaying real-time traffic and program controls.
4. A system for user authorization and high-scores logging, for capturing user data and offering customer rewards and incentives.

The team behind BigPlay met at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU in 2011. Collectively they have worked on projects ranging from banking infrastructure, data visualization, branding and mobile gaming.

Federico Zannier
Strategy and Engineering Lead

Danne Woo
Visual Design and Front End Development

Phil Groman
Business Development and Interaction Design