Oren Peli took Paranormal Activity to a new dimension when he launched the Spot app.
Besides his exposure to the film industry, the Producer and Director of Paranormal Activity and Insidious comes with a tech background. Oren Peli started his career as a programmer and was recently tempted to mix his two passions.
“When I got into film with Paranormal Activity, my experience as a video game programmer made me comfortable with all the technological aspects of it. I don’t know that the Hollywood experience had a similar effect.” Peli said.
Sparktech assembled a team of determined Mobile and Backend Devs to work Agile with the support of a Product Owner towards Oren’s vision.
This is how Spot came to life. It’s an application that allows real people to seamlessly create public or private events related to Sports, Hobbies, Singles and Community Services. This way, it stimulates individuals that have common interests to meet and do what they love by incorporating classic offline socialising concepts into the online era.
The idea came to Peli when he was single and looking to interact with new friends. Since he couldn’t find a simple to use service that offered a low-pressure way to meet with new people in a group setting, he decided to create the free app. He envisioned a social network that would bring users together in the real world, through relevant events where they can connect with others and engage in new experiences.
A particular feature of the app leans on the idea of safety and security within the community through authenticity. SMS verification allows users who prefer to remain genuine to become “trusted Spotters”. They can then create events that only other Trusted Spotters can join.
Several forms of interaction are available throughout the app, including the options to share, invite and chat with others that are attending the same event as yourself or the alternative of following them in order to partake in common future events.
Naturally, additional features include a review functionality where participants can share their opinions about the events by adding impressions together with photos or videos in their comments. They can search for events by keyword or just check the map to see what’s nearby.
The app is available on both iOS and Android. It was developed to be native on each platform. On Android we used the vanilla Android SDK and Java (with Retrolambda), using Bolts Task for escaping callback hell and following the MVP pattern. On iOS we used Apple’ s iOS frameworks with Swift along with RxSwift for managing events in the app and various other libraries linked via Cocoapods. On the server side we added some RoR powder, our special ingredient (which also renders the web frontend), paired up with PostgreSQL and Redis. Our QA team designed and created test cases to automate them using Calabash and Cucumber for Android and Appium and Cucumber for iOS.
While there are plenty of different social apps on the market, Spot keeps things fresh and organic by helping people do something not many apps promote: spend more time offline.