Spotful, which embeds web-like content functionality into an online video, has formally partnered with Ottawa’s Shopify and is now available to Shopify’s customers to enhance their videos.
Spotful, which began life as Spot, was developed by Andrew Murray, of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Murray originally studied neuroscience at Dalhousie University before getting into programming and machine learning.
He began working on Spot in Charlottetown, but has since expanded to Halifax and then Montreal.
In Charlottetown, Murray was mentored for 10 months by Paul Lypaczewski, of the Innovation and Technology Association of Prince Edward Island, who was so impressed with Murray’s work that he became Spot’s first investor and now acts as the company’s chairman.
Murray met Shopify during a FounderFuel Demo Day last May in Montreal, during which their teams sensed a fit for what Spotful’s offering could do for Shopify.
“We have one of the best storytelling tools in the world and it happens to be able to sell product directly,” Murray told the Charlottetown Guardian in August. “No one invests or builds a video and puts it online for no reason. Every video that goes out is built to drive traffic to a Facebook page or website.”
Spotful’s platform embeds information into a video in such a way that while you’re watching the video, a small circle appears that the viewer can click on. In a shopping context, this would offer the viewer more product information or a chance to buy.
“There is no leap, jump or referral anymore. We can take that checkout or that media goal and build it directly into the media itself and allow it to travel the web and that changes everything.”
Whereas interactive video typically requires a hefty budget, involving a video production team and programmers spending hundreds of hours to build from scratch, Mr. Murray has created a drag-and-drop tool that allows a user to build an interactive video experience in less than half an hour.
While Spotful has obvious applications for commerce, Murray originally developed the tool to work in an art gallery context.