Silicon Prairie News

New movie rental experience colored by RedBlue Flix

Des Moines May 24, 2011 by Brittany Mascio Only 19 days until Big Omaha. Get your tickets before they sell out!

RedBlue Flix is available for the iPhone and will soon be released for Android. Screenshots from the App Store

As movie-goers sit on the cusp of summer blockbuster season, they must patiently wait for films to hit the big screen. Yet, as the anticipation builds for these new flicks, avid movie fans can find some comfort with a shortened wait time to view the newest DVD and Blu-ray releases.

RedBlue Flix, an application for the iPhone that will soon be released for the Android, aims to be the fastest way to find and reserve movies from area kiosks, grabbing inspiration for its name from the kiosks it supports: Redbox and Blockbuster Express, associated with its signature royal blue color.

The app seeks to find those red and blue kiosks with rentals viewers want to see, particularly pegging the most immediate releases and location. Toran Billups, the Des Moines developer who created the application, said it gives viewers the most efficient access to releases.

"If Joe wants to rent a movie, he doesn't care where," Billups (Below: Photo from twitter.com/toranb) said. "Joe just wants to see the movie."

And, until recently, "Joe" could find his movie with only the help of one of the two movie providers' mobile app. Within the last year, Redbox has developed an application that changed its rental process from a web-based experience to one geared more toward mobile capabilities. However, the app provides only basic search tools and a way for users to reserve movies from kiosks. Blockbuster Express, on the other hand, currently does not have mobile support for kiosks and relies on an application built for its in-store rentals. Here, Billups saw an opportunity to improve the movie-rental experience.

"A bug got to me," Billups said. "There was an opening for me to improve [the service]."

RedBlue Flix had played a game racing the clock against Blockbuster Express. As the clock ticked, Billups said this pressure only pushed him to move forward with his side project.

By servicing due diligence to the existing applications, Billups converged the services of both providers in his application and added additional features. Although the application is not produced or affiliated with either movie provider directly, the app locates the nearest kiosk using GPS or relative zip code and guides users with the help of Google Maps. All the movie details are provided within the application, and users can reserve their copy of the hottest film and even cut themselves a break using promotional codes from the respective providers.

Billups continues to add improvements to the application, and at this rate he's added everything but a popcorn and candy feature. He is looking to explore Windows 7 and Blackberry platforms to incorporate more movie-lovers regardless of mobile device.

"I liked the idea that I could build something in my basement and have it available everywhere to anyone," Billups said.

The app is available for 99 cents in the App Store. To learn more about RedBlue Flix, see itunes.apple.com/redblueflix.

To watch a demo video of RedBlue Fix, visit redblueflix.squarespace.com.

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