“ Big Screen now includes the New Heart English Bible! ”
At Launch Interactive we build Websites and Mobile Apps. We are based in Ballarat, Australia.
Our focus is Quality, Consistency and Simplicity.
Some of our services include:
- Build custom designed, mobile friendly (responsive), Wordpress themes
- Build custom php websites with MySQL or MongoDB database backends
- Develop iOS, Android and Windows Mobile Apps
- Develop OSX Applications
- Website Hosting
- Google Apps (e-mail) setup and management
- Domain Registration and management
- Amazon Web Services setup and management
5 years ago I became frustrated with the software we were using in my church to display lyrics, scriptures, images and videos on a projector. Being a web developer I wondered if it would be possible to come up with a solutions that was entirely web based. Something that could run entirely in your browser and not require any installation.
After a month of hacking I ended up building a concept and submitted it as a Mozilla Dev Derby entry. The Dev Derby was a competition run by Mozilla to help promote the web that has since finished. There is still a demo video available of what I produced on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/54612911
I didn’t end up winning anything and I ended up concluding that the web wasn’t ready for something quite like this. I shelved the idea.
Last year I decided to re-visit the idea. My church was using well known Church Presentation software at multiple locations and it was crashing a lot. I found the interface clunky and restrictive. I decided to try creating what is now know as Big Screen.
The previous software we were using allowed for looping videos but applying a video to each slide restarted the background on each slide change and transparent videos was only possible on macOS. Also, the slides you click on didn't show exactly how it would look on the frontend. The first demo I made allowed for looping videos but I had been dreaming of adding transparent video on top of moving backgrounds. It turns out WebM videos works pretty well for this and it opens up loads of possibilities for animated slides and logos. Transparent videos work pretty well right now in Big Screen. In the future if AV1 takes off then we may even switch all our video playback to use that codec.
One of the biggest issues with my first demo was that it didn’t work without an internet connection and struggled on a slow network. Fortunately the web now has Web Workers to enable downloading and running a website offline. This seemed to work well for everything… except for videos. There is a limit to how much a web browser can store offline and its not even consistent between vendors. To workaround this we decided to create the Big Screen Cache Client. This means that users can install the Cache Client if you want instant video playback. Big Screen will still work without the client and hopefully one day we can ditch it entirely and achieve our goal of being completely web based.
Another issue with the initial demo was that setup would take a few steps to configure the displays. While it was not terrible it did require moving windows around every time you opened the website. Browsers don’t offer the ability to restore a full screen window for security reasons so in Big Screen we ended up writing a web extension for Chrome and Firefox to streamline this process. Once the extension is installed setup only needs to happen once.
This is just some of the challenges we have faced over the last 12 months but right now we are incredibly proud of what we have produced.
We are not done yet. We have loads of features we want to add and plenty of suggestions coming in. Big Screen currently works in Chrome and Firefox on Windows, macOS and Linux and is in beta in other browsers.
Big Screen is now being used at lots of locations every Sunday and is now available for anyone to signup. We have included a free 30 day trial and priced it very reasonably so any church can give it ago.
Cooke Industries required a new website for their QuikClean product range. This website had a fast turnaround due to an expo they were involved in. It includes a responsive WordPress theme and an Accredited Installers section. Digital Outlaw did a fantastic job designing the new site and we put it together.
https://radiusimaging.com.au - Not too long ago we released a refreshed version of the radius website. Their existing site needed a bit of a makeover and re-structure due to patient feedback. We worked closely with Made Visual and Radius Imaging to build a new site we are all proud of. It was a joy to work with Made Visual and Radius once again.
“ AirCamera 1.3 has been released. You can now take a photo with hardware volume controls! ”
“ AirCamera 1.2 has been released. Double tap to toggle Rule of Thirds. Pinch to Zoom and Tap and hold to lock focus and exposure. ”
https://AutoAction.com.au is a site we built a while ago. It features a custom responsive Wordpress theme that was built to handle lots of traffic. The site gets loads of hits, especially when a big news story breaks. We recently switched the web server from Apache to Nginx and have seen an improvement in performance and uptime.
They AutoAction guys are great to deal with and we hope to continue working with them as the site grows.
“ A new version of MMR has been uploaded. It includes a few small fixes. ”
The St Patrick's College Ballarat Business Directory is now live. This project required a Website where Alumni can register and create/pay for their own listings. The listing is then available on the website and in Android and iOS Apps. We used Stripe for the payment gateway and found its integration much smoother than PayPal.
It has been great to work with Nashish Marketing and Design and St Patrick's College, Ballarat and hope that the directory becomes a great resource to the community.
Visit https://directory.stpats.vic.edu.au to register or search for "SPC Ballarat Business Directory" in the App Store or Google Play.
“ What a great review of our WordPress Plugin “Merge Minfy & Refresh”: wordpress.org/support/topic/… ”
Just for fun we did the Google Mobile Sites exam without any study. Apart from the odd question I think we did ok.
We have just released a brand new website for Urban Horticultural Solutions (UHS). UHS are multi-award winning landscapers and their new website is set to showcase this. Scroll through the galleries and get some inspiration!
The website has a custom WordPress theme designed by Adam from Royale Blue and built by Launch. We built a custom WordPress gallery plugin to make creating and editing galleries a breeze.
Ballarat Hospice Care has recently been released. It was designed by Jamie from Digital Outlaw and built by Launch. The site has lots of custom elements like parallax, slide out menu, css blend modes, animated statistics and more. It is completely responsive and built with speed in mind.
Launch Interactive built a brand new website for Enjoy Church. This WordPress website includes custom integrations with an internal database, Elvanto, Twitter and Instagram. The site is optimised for mobile as well as desktop. It is designed to load super fast. Even though the menu is very simple the way it works on mobile is quite an achievement. We are also proud of the custom select box styles.
It was great to work with the team at Enjoy and we look forward to more projects in the future.
“ MMR 2.8.2 was released today that includes support for visual composer frontend editor and other improvements.. ”
“ Its always nice to receive feedback like this for Merge + Minify + Refresh (our WordPress plugin) wordpress.org/support/topic/… ”
“ Yay.. a new version of MMR has been released! ”
Stoked to see TRAX being used around the globe!
We have recently released a brand new website for Ballarat Cardiology. This site was designed by Melinda from Studio Orchard and built by Launch. It features a custom responsive WordPress template that is fast and simple to maintain. Ballarat Cardiology & Melinda were a pleasure to work with. We hope you enjoy your new website!
“ A new version of our WP plugin Merge+Minify+Refresh is up. It fixes issues with some themes & adds the ability to set a custom cache dir ”
“ TRAX 2.5 & TRAX 2.5 Free have just been released. Lots of bug fixes and improvements! thetraxapp.com ”
“ Our ad supported version of TRAX is now live. Try TRAX Free today: itunes.apple.com/us/app/trax-fr… ”
Ballarat Property Group were in need of a new website to replace their dated desktop and mobile sites. The two sites added extra maintenance and required lots of manual work to keep up to date. We have built a brand new site in WordPress which puts the properties front and centre and allows BPG to manage the entire site. Sale & Rental properties are fetched from external sources and cached on the site for speed.
The design was by Digital Outlaw and built by Launch.
The brand new website for Mitchell Harris Wines has been released. We are really pleased to see this site live and are very proud of how it looks. It was designed by Jamie from Digital Outlaw and built by Launch.
The site is fully responsive with a custom WordPress theme. The homepage has had quite a lot of attention with the grid panel being the most challenging.
“ Awesome feedback about our Merge + Minify + Refresh WordPress plugin: "I've tried a bunch of minification plugins. This one's the best!" ”
I've finally got around to ordering a 2016 Calendar from Custom Printz It arrived today and looks great!
Great News! We have released a new App on the iOS App Store.
Air Camera is the best way to stream your camera to an airplay receiver. eg. Apple TV, AirParrot or AirServer. Perfect for live events when you need a simple video feed to an external display. The external display only shows the video so elements like notifications, battery status and time don't distract your audience. Plus, you can swap between cameras and take a full resolution photo. When you take a photo a 3 second preview shows up on the receiver.
We wrote Air Camera to fill a specific need but soon realised others would benefit from it. We were running the media for a sports person awards night in February and needed a roaming camera for interviews around the room. We tried a few apps on the App Store and while they worked, we thought we could do better. Our app doesn't mirror the screen but instead creates a seperate screen of video only. As a bonus, we threw in the ability to take photos and show a preview on the external output.
Grab Air Camera today to see how it can enhance your next event.
“ This would have to be the best feedback we have had for our MMR WordPress plugin.. wordpress.org/support/topic/… ”
“ Our Merge + Minify + Refresh WordPress plugin now ignores conditional scripts and styles. ”