Over the last few years, Samsung has been working hard on building technology to improve the communication between its connected TVs and mobile devices, whether they be iOS or Android phones or tablets. Well, the company has acquired MOVL, a startup that should provide even more help in that category.
MOVL is the maker of the Kontrol.tv API platform, which lets developers create apps to connect TVs via the cloud, as well as mobile phones on home networks. The platform was fully launched last fall, after a year-and-a-half that the MOVL team spent building the system.
A representative from MOVL confirmed the acquisition with the following statement:
“In April 2013, two years after inception, MOVL has officially joined forces with Samsung. We are now a part of Samsung Electronics, and we are excited to combine our multi-screen capabilities with Samsung’s scale and innovation in its device ecosystem.”
MOVL has been working on the Samsung connected TV platform for a while now. The startup was one of the first winners of Samsung’s Connected TV developer contests, with its WeDraw app. WeDraw enabled users to draw images through an app on their mobile phones or tablets, and have those illustrations be displayed on a Samsung TV.
But since then, MOVL has become even more ambitious, seeking to not only connect users of Samsung TVs and their mobile devices, but also to provide a singular platform upon which developers could build apps for multiple TV systems. Its Kontrol.tv interface works with both Samsung and Google TV devices, as well as iOS and Android phones and tablets.
But it was working on integration with other smart TV platforms as well. The idea was to provide one connective tissue for all phones and connected TVs, and it had six other platforms in the pipeline for later this year.
It’s not clear if Samsung will continue to allow MOVL to develop for multiple TV platforms, or if it’s just hoping to leverage the development platform for its own devices. The MOVL team has joined Samsung Electronics, and will be working out of the device maker’s San Jose offices. In addition to the startup’s 10 employees, Samsung also gets the technology platform it’s built out, as well as a couple of patents pending.