Articles Tagged: history

historical information related to digital product, campaigns, devices, technologies, references

AR you there? Serie on Augmented Reality, Part 0 Introduction

June 2nd, 2009 | By Cedric Madelaine

034 augg presentation AugmentedReality AR you there? Serie on Augmented Reality, Part 0 Introduction image

Introduction

The 21th April 2009 in Geneva, I made a presentation focused on Augmented Reality (AR). You will find at the bottom its teaser. As promised to people who attended this presentation, I will publish it as a serie of blog posts including a fair amount of video links and references and several enhancements and details.

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What is augmented reality?

“An AR system supplements the real world with virtual (computer-generated) objects that appear to coexist in the same space as the real world” Recent Advances in Augmented Reality, 2001, Azuma, Baillot, Behringer, Feiner, Julier, MacIntyre

“Augmented reality (AR) is a field of computer research which deals with the combination of real-world and computer-generated data (virtual reality), where computer graphics objects are blended into real footage in real time.”
Wikipedia

Disclaimer

I am not a specialist of AR and what I present is from a personal exploration standpoint, if you are a professional of AR or have extensive experience in it or have a business build around it please feel free to comment on this serie or provide extra links to papers.

034 Karma AR product AR you there? Serie on Augmented Reality, Part 0 Introduction image

Objectives and future

The objective behind this presentation was to show that there is much more behind AR than just “buzz effect” and they are already viable commercial products based on AR concepts.
Personally speaking I feel it is the next upcoming media revolution. I am convinced that AR devices will be everywhere as it happened with mobile phone (or is it mobile phone used as AR devices which will prevent true AR devices to be success full?), even if people might be socially more reluctant to accept it. Of course this is linked to two crucial points: how efficient would devices be to perform live tracking and how affordable would they be.

As far as I can see the upcoming device by Vuzix might help having more people buy AR based devices. Sony has also one in preparation even if Tom Hanks is not that much keen on it: here. I am looking forward to seeing appear an hybrid device allowing full non transparent video display and semi transparent display for AR.

I feel that the video games industry might help also spreading AR concepts. I will not be surprised that the next generation of portable system by Nintendo would use AR (or maybe is it too early?).
(Nintendo GAR, Game bAR or GAR Boy or AR WII icon wink AR you there? Serie on Augmented Reality, Part 0 Introduction image or WII AR (the champion)
Maybe it is the revenge of Gunpei Yokoi after the mistake of the Virtual Boy …)

All in all AR opens a complete new field to explore and to start new concepts and products. It is an exciting time because true commercial solution starts to emerge, time to be creative with these wonderful new worlds opening ….

Stay tune on analogdesign’s blog for the next part of this serie… Chronology, AR in the air at MAX2008, Presentation starts.
Find below the teaser of the conference AR you there?

034 Denno Coil AR Fishing AR you there? Serie on Augmented Reality, Part 0 Introduction image

Presentation’s Teaser

“The 21th April 2009 in Geneva, I am giving a presentation focused on Augmented Reality. It has been a long time that scientists make experiments on this matter, but it is recent that big brands use it to create new ways to communicate about their brand or new products. AR in some of its current use is sometimes just seen as a new way to create buzz and waouw effect for a given brand, but they are much more behind Augmented Reality. AR opens a wide new area to explore new ways of communication, new services and new products. Today it is much easier to build projects based on Augmented Reality and the recent Flash platform port of the AR toolkit will certainly play an important role in increasing the amount of AR products and allow projects based on AR to reach a wider audience. This presentation will include an introduction on Augmented Reality, present a wide range of existing examples and propose hands on Flash Augmented Reality demos.
So be there to meet AR.”

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Rebranding of Flex builder, Flash Builder the hidden story, A Boy and His Flash

June 2nd, 2009 | By Cedric Madelaine

postImage 01short Rebranding of Flex builder, Flash Builder the hidden story, A Boy and His Flash image

Introduction

Lately Macromedia, no no no, Adobe announced the rebranding of Flex builder as Flash Builder. I’ve read plenty of posts and interesting comments on this matter. I will not start here with giving my opinion directly on this matter, but start with a trip with a time machine to try to better understand what brought the current situation.
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Disclaimer

This post is supposed to be slightly humorous. What is expressed is personal and I hope this will not offense anybody icon wink Rebranding of Flex builder, Flash Builder the hidden story, A Boy and His Flash image

035 FutureSplashFlashFlex Rebranding of Flex builder, Flash Builder the hidden story, A Boy and His Flash image

What Flash do

As somebody who touched for the first time a Flash product with the version 2 in 1998. I feel that today’s confusion inherits from Flash’s evolution. Through time and various iteration our tool, our technology has evolved a lot from an animation tool to an ubiquitous way to produce a wide range of products from simple things to extremely complex one, but in a context where the simple one has a mission as important as the complex one, moreover each addressing a wide range of requirements and last but not least ubiquitous.

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theflashblob

I feel that Flash along its history has been like a blob whose flexible flesh were pull to diverse directions along what users made of it, trends, demands and future expectations. Through time your blob character has lost a (8)bit its well defined bouncy borders, but it is still there and as flexible as he used to be. I’m not sure that Macromedia were that much clear about what it would become of Flash when they bought Futuresplash back in 1996 (if you have internal info about it please let me know).
It started with something which addressed an issue: provide lightweight/vectorial animations for the web. A well thought tool which was very different from what existed before. But a tool which produce content which is difficult to identify by the end user as being “made by Flash” because it is available as would any image within an html page.

This technology offered an open field for creativity and MM was looking with awareness what was happening with this technology. This attracted people from a very wide range of professionals, gathering people from the developer side and from the designer side, and even giving birth to an hybrid class of people devsigners.
(by the way do not you feel like the Boy in “A Boy and His Blob” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Boy_and_His_Blob, feeding the blob with actionscript licorice jelly beans to make it transform into amazing “shapes” icon wink Rebranding of Flex builder, Flash Builder the hidden story, A Boy and His Flash image )

Amazingly fun but can you be serious?

Ok so now you have this wonderful technology which produce funky animated visuals (skip it) and interactive pieces, it works great still it is not very well recognized for what it is and what it could be…

1: Target audience has difficulties to identify it, well it is not much a problem because the important : point is that they enjoy it and that they will demand for this kind of content. (see what is happening with Flashlite which is rarely advertised in Mobile phones leaflets, it is the same reason.) It has the advantage that you are maybe a bit more free with what you do with the branding.

2: You have people convinced by the technology, but you’d like to attract more people and people who can also show that your technology is “serious”. I mean by that prove that your technology is a serious challenger to existing others in the field of Interactive Applications.
You have a very cre-active and devoted community (respectable in size), but you need a bigger workforce to promote your technology. They are out there a huge amount of developers, but currently they work with other technologies, you really need to appeal them to widen the spread of your technology and widen its possible applications…

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Let’s appeal the other side

The Apparition of Flex resulted from this will of Macromedia to make Flash more appealing to “historical/true” developers/Architect/Business Stategist/….

1: effort were put on improving Actionscript to be respectful of programming standards (as1->as2 -> as3).

2: changed the paradygm of the timeline to meet screen based paradygm

3: promote use of MVC (mxml= the view building language, actionscript= the controller and management of data)

4: improve management of external data

5: provide a set of tools to allow this kind of developers to find ready to use well know components

6: use a well known developer platform : Eclipse with features like syntax completion, break points, profiler, etc which makes their work more efficient and comfortable.

(7: target open source and offer the opportunity to people to work with the technology for free)

A compflexe case

Then you have a new tool which use the same technology but which is free of the burden of “time incremental evolution”. (not like Flash IDE) (I jump here, on purpose, over the intermediary phase of Flex 1.0 +1.5 which I feel were to test the market)

What would you do, you need to attract these people, now you have a way to speak their language but how would you call it? Flash something? No way! Developers, IT Stategist,… have being forged an image about the product which is not very positive regarding their field and does not fit what you want to communicate. Aka the “skip animated intro complex (of the death)”. So you create a new brand, which will identify your new approach and communicate it to the right people. FLEX! (Flexible, were other challenger are not so much flexible)

Strategically speaking you need to make this new brand appealing to decision makers, to make them trust it, then you ensure to have blue print companies starting partnerships to develop impressive RIA with this tool (like ebay, IBM), which will help promote the tool within other big companies and make them start to trust it.

To finish with this part, check this historical document, the press release of Flex 2.0 http://www.adobe.com/macromedia/proom/pr/2005/announcing_flex2.html, interesting to read it in today’s context.

END OF PART 1, NEXT PART the rebranding, preparation of the future.

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