The HotSwitch App Is About To Change The Way You Watch TV

The HotSwitch App Is About To Change The Way You Watch TV

The new social app for the new golden age of TV.

Pretty much everyone has a show they’re excited about — be it on Netflix, Hulu or on the good ol’ television. For the most part, people find themselves sharing their reactions with other on social media. Inevitably, someone will post a spoiler for whoever is not watching live and flame grudges that can never die. How can we avoid this? The founders of HotSwitch, a new social TV app, think they have found the solution.

With HotSwitch, people will be able join "watch parties" for their favorite shows and react in real time with friends. If none of your friends are watching your shows, you can join global watch parties. I know what you’re thinking: "What makes this different from any messaging app?" For starters, it’s not just a messaging app; it’s so much more.

The app will also manage to be a curator and database for shows. Basically, the app will compare shows that your friends are watching, recommend shows that critics are praising, and remember shows that you have watched and recommend, thus creating a personalized list of suggestions for you. The aim for the app will be to create the most comprehensive and accurate list so you’ll never wonder what to watch next.

In time, the app will also be able to provide different features for user interaction. On top of the local watch parties, global watch parties and friend watch parties, the app will have your favorite shows interact with you. Users will have the option of receiving facts and trivia about shows in real time.

The app even sets out to accommodate for binge watchers. Similar to the real-time watch party function mentioned earlier, viewers will also be able to catch up to friends by telling the app what episode you’re on so you can see their reactions while the show is playing. With a Shazam-like audio recognition feature, the app will be able to recognize what show you’re watching, which episode you’re watching, and how far along you are on said episode.

The app would have practical uses for the television industry as well. Before the age of social media, TV ratings were measured by Nielsen ratings, a deeply flawed system that only measured a certain number of TVs. With HotSwitch, industries will be able to gauge a more accurate figure as to how many people are watching a show and how many people are reviewing it positively.

The company has gained a lot of traction since it started. Besides the buzz it’s been getting online, with watch groups already forming on Facebook before the app’s release, and investments received from TV producer Francisco Cordero and CodeSchool’s founder Gregg Pollack, HotSwitch was recently asked to be a part of Alchemist Accelerator in San Francisco, the second-largest start-up accelerator. The company filled up their slots for 70 beta testers and had over 300 people on the waiting list by the end of 2015, just three months after their entry into their local start-up accelerator, Starter Studio, in Orlando.

With sign-ups increasing exponentially, it seems that this app is here to stay.

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A Collection Of Poems

A collection of poems that I have written.

I have always liked writing poetry, so I have decided to share a couple of my favorite poems that I have written. They are pretty short, but I hope you all enjoy!

A simple touch

A kind word

Is all someone might need

To feel alive, to feel anything at all

The feeling that lingers

Always in the back of your mind

Rides through the day with you unaware

Until night when it flies into your dreams

Sometimes the unknown is the scariest of all

You know the past and you know the present

But the future, the unknown, continues to loom in your path

Until one day you walk right into it

And realize you still don’t know what you want

Truth flies in the wind,

Eager to set the story straight

While lies come swooping in like vultures,

Determined to seize those want to be free.

The petals on a flower,

Delicate like the mind.

People insist on picking those flowers and picking on your mind.

Why can’t people believe that the mind is beautiful like flowers?

Why do we have so much hate?

Cover Image Credit: Leah Perrino

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My Winter Break Awarded Me The Opportunity Of A Lifetime

How one video led me to creating content for two great organizations.

Sometimes things work out for you even when you didn’t plan for them to happen. Over the Christmas break, I got a chance to do some amazing things and promote my work in a big way, all out of coincidence.

Christmas was fast approaching and my mom and I were getting ready to head to the airport to pick up my sister who was coming home from Washington D.C. I was trying to decide if I should bring my camera or not; usually I wouldn’t but my sister always begs me to make videos of her and take her picture so I thought this time I guess I’ll indulge. I figured a nice arriving home clip would be nice to have and something cool to capture on my camera.

Her plane had been delayed and sort of shuffled everywhere because of the bad storm all over the country, so we weren’t really sure when or where she was coming from. As we waited patiently for her to arrive, my mom and I noticed more and more people gathering into the airport and setting up camp on the other side of the terminal.

The El Paso Sun Court arrived, then Mariachis, even the El Paso mascot. Finally, our questions were answered when someone my mom knew from the group came up to say hi to her. He said that this was part of a basketball tournament happening as part of the Sun Bowl. The Sun Bowl is the bowl game we have in El Paso at the football stadium where the UTEP Miners play, and they have many other events that lead up to it, including a basketball tournament.

We learned that one of the teams was coming into town that day and all the theatrics was a part of their arrival. Luckily I had had my camera and a very versatile 50mm lens.

So, I decided to stay a little while after my sister finally arrived to film the event. (I had learned last summer that you can pretty much get anywhere in El Paso with a camera and if you look like you know what you’re doing).

The team arrived and danced to music and had a great time. I later took that footage and made a short little video, which is what I usually do when I film something random that I see, and I posted it on my social media. The post got a good audience and eventually attracted the attention of the head media representative from the Sun Bowl Association. He contacted me and said he loved the video and wanted to know if I wanted to do any more videos for him, gratis of course. It didn’t take me too long to think about it and told him, of course, I would.

I became the sole provider of video content for the Sun Bowl Association. This small airport video led me to create eight videos for the Sun Bowl Association, including hanging out with the NC State and ASU football players at Fort Bliss Military Base.

I also got to create videos for all of their events leading up to the Sun Bowl:

Finally, I had the amazing opportunity to create two sports recap videos for both the basketball tournament and Hyundai Sun Bowl:

It was an amazing experience to represent a company visually and have my content spread across not only El Paso, but also Arizona and North Carolina. It was also incredibly gratifying to be a very young 21-year-old content creator among so many older and recognized photographers from the El Paso Times, Herald Post, etc.

This opportunity eventually led to another freelance video project with the UTEP Tennis team. To get not only one but two organizations wanting me to create content for them was such a great honor.

And to think all of this came from one decision to bring my camera to the airport to pick up my sister. I could not have brought my camera that day or had the wrong lens. My sister’s flight could have arrived on time and we would’ve missed the arrival. I could not have had the confidence to step into the crowd and press the record button. But luckily life had its way of putting me in the right place at the right time.

I had the confidence to step in the crown and press the record button. But luckily life had its way of putting me in the right place at the right time.

Cover Image Credit: Ryan Ortegon

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