Square [i]

A Mac-based hotel TV system, providing broadcast TV, VoD, as well as web browsing and Mac apps.
Client: Square [i] International (now RoomNetTV)
Technology: CoreAnimation, Objective-C, Smalltalk, Django
Date: Feb 2012 - Feb 2014

The Square [i] system is a premium hotel TV solution - with the standard features of a ‘smart’ TV system (welcome screen, TV, radio, movie rental) alongside a fully-featured guest account on Mac OS X, so the guest can browse the web and use apps, such as Skype.

The technology of this project is particularly interesting. This was a v2.0 ground-up rewrite, mainly because v1.0 had stability issues caused by the video decoder. This led to a two-process design - a backend, holding all the state of the system, communicating with a stateless UI process via unidirectional JSON messages. The UI process presented content to the screen using CoreAnimation, so all graphics were GPU accelerated and ran at 1080p, 60fps.


I was part of this project through the 2 year development cycle. I was involved with the UI design, UI implementation in Objective-C, integration of the VLC video player, and implementation of the backend. I also wrote a CMS in Django for hotel management to customise the system, or adapt the branding and content for conferences.