Furcaster for AppleTV

The cutest way to get the weather.

The Short of It

Come rain or shine, Furcaster™ is a real-time weather application, built exclusively for the new AppleTV, guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you tune-in to check the weather…no matter how blustery the conditions are outside.

The Situation

With Smashing’s long-standing relationship with Apple, we were given early access to the all-new AppleTV developer tool kit, along with the AppleTV hardware. With this unique opportunity we sought to create one of the first…not to mention CUTEST…weather applications for kids and the young at heart alike.
With televisions being primary focal points within a home, we aimed to take this primarily entertainment-based medium and utilize it as a learning tool for kids, ideally in the age range of 4 – 7 years old. We wanted to get them excited to learn about current weather conditions, help them understand the impact weather has on their day-to-day routines, and forecast future decision making processes. For young-at-heart adults we wanted to create a whimsical weather experience that went beyond functional to fun.

Furcaster™ is a great way to help kids learn about weather, prepare for trips and learn about climates across the globe.

The Challenge
We set-out out to create Furcaster™ in a hyper-condensed timeframe of 3 months to coincide with launch of the AppleTV app store, with no prior experience with the all-new tvOS platform. Our in-house designers and developers took on the challenge of creating an application previously untested, or documented, in-market.
Technically speaking, there was little to no information available to the team at the start of the build. Critical areas of development, like app size limit, focus engines, event forwarding, how to handle remote input, etc. were virtually unknown at the start, and were learned throughout the progression of the build.
Our Approach
Under the leadership of our creative team, we embarked on a R&D phase to determine a fresh approach to the overcrowded weather app market. A lacking niche was kids, families, and adults that wanted weather delivered to them in a less than strictly utilitarian fashion. This led to the genesis of our original character Flurry, the most adorable forecaster around, to connect kids and adults alike, to the daily/weekly weather happenings in a playful, yet emotionally accessible manner.
Once the initial build was complete we conducted user testing with young kids to determine how easy the new AppleTV remote was to interact with within the application. Based on the user testing and parental interviews, we enhanced certain character elements, adjusted how to receive weather-related information and planned for future feature updates.
In addition to the informative weather portion of the application, we saw the opportunity to have Furcaster™ run as an ambient background, day or night. From the sounds of birds joyously chirping in the sun to the rolling thunder of a late-night storm, Furcaster™’s unique ambient soundscapes, users of all ages are able to enjoy the harmony of nature from the comfort of their living room, advertising free!

The Result

Targeted towards families, Furcaster™ helps kids learn about the weather, prepare for trips and learn about varying climates across the globe. The addition of Flurry, the cutest forecaster in the world of weather, stimulates curiosity, creates emotional connection, and ultimately, integrates learning seamlessly through the power of play.

Winning

  • One of the first-to-market weather apps for AppleTV
  • Featured in PSFK

Services

  • Strategy
  • Motivational UX™
  • Design
  • Animation
  • tvOS Development

Ready to talk about more than weather?

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