Mobile Device as Medallion – Wearable Computing

September 6, 2012
Wearable Computing - Mobile Medallion

Wearable Computing – Mobile Medallion

For the last while I have been prototyping mobile devices as medallions in a way to make wearable computing easy, affordable and practical today.

I have used iPods, iPhones, iPads, Galaxy Tabs as medallions hanging around the neck but my favourite size and device is the Blackberry Playbook.  This is an excellent device with superb sound and screen – and is the perfect size for a medallion.

I am working on apps that let you express your mood, communicate, mesmerize and promote using simple gestures or grid based interfaces – which work as you wear.  As far as I know, I am pioneering this technique.  I have had dozens of people research for examples and have come up empty.  Still to this day, there are no pictures of people doing this.

The odd thing is that I can do it with any existing device with a couple pieces of tape and a string in less than five minutes.  That means you can do it too and along with the apps I will be launching will come instructions.

My prototypes also include pockets with plastic or cut out areas to see the screen of the devices as well as packs, headbands, sashes, pouches, etc.  There have been arm bands to hold devices but the purpose has always been individual usage.  With Medallions, etc. the purpose is to communicate with others.

Dan Zen

Dan Yen over One Billion Deck Dollars in RichDeck!

July 3, 2012

In roughly 1,500 transactions, Dan Yen has grown his RichDeck empire into $1,109,927,000 Deck Dollars. Currently in second place is Silent B89 with $654,309,000.

http://danzen.com/richdeck

RichDeck is the game where you buy companies and make money from people buying franchises or you buy franchises and make money from getting your friends to accept franchise cards. There are also four types of companies, each providing special bonuses for franchise owners:

a) Cool Bonus: 1% the franchise price for each day a friend who accepted the franchise product signs in to RichDeck.

b) Health Bonus: 1% the franchise price for each week the owner owns the franchise.

c) Environment Bonus: 1% the franchise price for every 100 people who log in to RichDeck.

d) Time Bonus: 1% the franchise price for every day the owner logs in to RichDeck.

IF ONE PERSON COMMENTS BELOW AND REQUESTS A RESTART
Dan Zen will restart the game.

RICHDECK RULES

You start with ten million Deck Dollars.  The object of the game is to buy and sell companies and franchises and make billions!  Here are the rules and some examples.

1.  You can own any number of companies and franchises but no duplicates.  Companies can only be owned by one player and you can always buy* a company.  Company franchises can be owned by many players and you can buy** a franchise for the franchise price.

2.  When you own a company and someone buys a franchise, you get paid the listed price of the franchise. Also, if someone buys your company, you get what you paid plus 1% the starting price.

3.  When you own a franchise, you make money*** by sending the product to friends.  You also make money from one of four bonuses listed on the card.

4.  At any time, you can sell a company to the ‘bank’ for the price you paid.  You can sell a franchise to the bank but you must wait at least one week after the purchase date.  You will still receive money from any sends (see 3. above) accepted after a sold franchise.

* As long as you have enough money, you can always buy a company for 1% the starting price more than the current owner paid.  Prices will be worked out for you.

** You cannot buy a franchise if you own the company.  But you can buy a company if you own the franchise.

*** The friend will receive an e-mail with a product picture and an accept link. If the friend accepts, then you will receive the list price of the product.  The friend will also receive the price of the product plus ten million deck dollars if they have not already signed up for RichDeck.  The friend cannot be you and can only accept the particular product once per owner of the franchise.

EXAMPLES

The starting price of the Glass Car company is $20,000,000.  If a first player buys the company then they would pay this amount to the ‘bank’.  If a second player buys the company then they will pay the first player $20,000,000 plus 1% the starting price which is $200,000 so this makes a total of $20,200,000.

You can then buy the company for what the current owner paid ($20,200,000) plus 1% the starting price ($200,000) which makes $20,400,000 and the current owner cannot stop you.  But they could buy back the company for $20,600,000 and you could not stop them. If that player does buy the company from you then you get $20,600,000.

Now, if you decide to buy a Glass Car franchise instead of the company then you would pay the owner the franchise price of $2,000,000.  You can then send out glass cars to friends and make $200,000 each time the car is accepted by a friend.  You also make one of four types of bonus below – in this case the cool bonus.  If you want to sell your franchise then you have to wait at least one week after your purchase date then you will get $2,000,000 back from the bank.  Note that the owner does not pay the money back.

A Personal Copter and Glass Car

Here is the account records of Dan Yen current leader of RichDeck.

PLAYER: DAN YEN
MOTTO: How much wood does woodchuck buy?

WORTH: $1,109,927,000 dd CASH: $673,777,000 dd
COMPANIES: MOON MANSION, LUNAR RESORT, SCIENCE SQUAD, GLASS CAR COMPANY, CENTRAL LEMONADE CO
FRANCHISES: OASIS, 10,000 ACRE PINE FOREST, RUNNING COURIER CO, ERGONE CHAMBER, ENVIRONMENTAL SOUND, LASER HAIR CHAIR CO, FRESH AIR CO, SOLAR LAGOON BATH, AZTEC SUN TEMPLE, SCIENCE SQUAD, PLANETARIUM OFFICE, CENTRAL LEMONADE CO, SOLAR FARM, GLASS CAR COMPANY

LATEST HISTORY:
01-07: Received $500 dd TIME bonus on LASER HAIR CHAIR CO for signin
01-07: Received $20,000 dd TIME bonus on PLANETARIUM OFFICE for signin
01-07: Received $20,000 dd TIME bonus on CENTRAL LEMONADE CO for signin
01-07: Received $40,000 dd TIME bonus on SCIENCE SQUAD for signin
01-07: Received $720,000 dd HEALTH bonus on AZTEC SUN TEMPLE for 9 weeks
01-07: Received $90,000 dd HEALTH bonus on OASIS for 9 weeks
01-07: Received $9,000 dd HEALTH bonus on ERGONE CHAMBER for 9 weeks
01-07: Received $9,000 dd HEALTH bonus on ENVIRONMENTAL SOUND for 9 weeks
11-07: Received $200,000 dd for accepting CENTRAL LEMONADE CO from THEDORE BAGWELL
11-07: Received $100,000 dd for accepting ISLAND WITH RESORT from THEDORE BAGWELL
11-07: Received $400,000 dd for accepting SCIENCE SQUAD from THEDORE BAGWELL
11-07: Received $100,000 dd for accepting 10,000 ACRE PINE FOREST from THEDORE BAGWELL
11-07: Received $100,000 dd for accepting ISLAND WITH RESORT from JAYKEEN
11-07: Received $200,000 dd for accepting GLASS CAR COMPANY from AKUA
11-07: Received $500 dd ENVIRONMENT bonus on FRESH AIR CO for 100 signins
11-07: Received $20,000 dd ENVIRONMENT bonus on SOLAR FARM for 100 signins
11-07: Received $10,000 dd ENVIRONMENT bonus on 10,000 ACRE PINE FOREST for 100 signins
11-07: Received $8,000 dd ENVIRONMENT bonus on RUNNING COURIER CO for 100 signins
11-07: Received $500 dd ENVIRONMENT bonus on SOLAR LAGOON BATH for 100 signins
11-07: Received $800,000 dd for accepting AZTEC SUN TEMPLE from MURAD
11-07: Received $200,000 dd for accepting PLANETARIUM OFFICE from GUMUSOGLU
11-07: Received $500 dd TIME bonus on LASER HAIR CHAIR CO for signin
11-07: Received $20,000 dd TIME bonus on PLANETARIUM OFFICE for signin
11-07: Received $20,000 dd TIME bonus on CENTRAL LEMONADE CO for signin
11-07: Received $40,000 dd TIME bonus on SCIENCE SQUAD for signin
11-07: Received $960,000 dd HEALTH bonus on AZTEC SUN TEMPLE for 12 weeks
11-07: Received $120,000 dd HEALTH bonus on OASIS for 12 weeks
11-07: Received $12,000 dd HEALTH bonus on ERGONE CHAMBER for 12 weeks
11-07: Received $12,000 dd HEALTH bonus on ENVIRONMENTAL SOUND for 12 weeks
11-07: Received $4,000,000 dd from JOKIC buying franchise, SCIENCE SQUAD
11-07: Received $2,000,000 dd from JOKIC buying franchise, GLASS CAR COMPANY
11-07: Received $4,000,000 dd from THEDORE BAGWELL buying franchise, SCIENCE SQUAD
11-07: Received $4,000,000 dd from JAYKEEN buying franchise, SCIENCE SQUAD
11-07: Received $2,000,000 dd from AKUA buying franchise, GLASS CAR COMPANY
08-14: Received $100,000 dd for accepting 10,000 ACRE PINE FOREST from NT
08-14: Received $200,000 dd for accepting CENTRAL LEMONADE CO from NT
08-14: Received $5,000 dd for accepting FRESH AIR CO from ANDREW_
08-14: Received $100,000 dd for accepting CLIFFSIDE CONDOMINIUMS from ANDREW_
08-14: Received $400,000 dd for accepting SCIENCE SQUAD from SARU

Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Zen “You are in the Dark” – New Interface Launch

June 22, 2012

Dan Zen launches a new interface!

Here is a look back through the various interfaces.  Click on any picture to go to the interface.

The “dark” interface is better suited for mobile and like the interfaces of the past offers a touch of playfulness with a light metaphor of early text based games.  [It almost made me want to make one of those.]  There is the recent http://altura.mobi if you are in the mood for text based interactive storytelling.

Up top we have the Dan Zen logo as a pixel art logo this time around (click it too).  Note that each interface is represented by a vertical totem logo variation.  There is a * link to a surprise feature, an about link, a contact link, a text ad and a GOGO Ad.

The main body as has five sections roughly as follows:

1. Guidance
2. Media
3. Games
4. Feedback
5. Create

The first section is always at the top and the others randomly rotate.  There are little >> marks after links that will pop up more options.  The other links pop up a new browser window or tab.  You can use key press letters to launch the links as well.

We hope you enjoy the site.  The design makes it simple to feature items although it is a bit more exploratory which is good or less good depending on your mood and purpose.

Dan Zen

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Dan Zen Interview and Article on The Fair Observer

April 27, 2012

Image

Yuna from the Fair Observer in Munich interviewed me on Skype – it was cool.  Have a look – there are two articles, one is an interview and the other a piece that I wrote about creation and consumption – it got edited a little (less pictures, less links – my title used Consumption rather than Consumerism – does it matter?).

http://www.fairobserver.com/article/interview-dan-zen-mad-inventor

http://www.fairobserver.com/article/state-interactive-content-2012-consumerism-and-creation

All the best,

Dan

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Gogo! Animate YouTube Videos in your Ad Spots

April 16, 2012

Gogo - YouTube Video Ad by Ad Inventor

See the ads in action!

Read more at http://adInventor.com.  Ad Inventor has been around for a while with dozens of different types of ads made – see http://danzen.com/hypno for a rather dated history.  Please remember that when hypno was made, it was full screen size!

Note… gogo will show a static ad (of your choosing) for browsers that do not support Flash.

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Apple Should be Punished for Attempting to Kill Browser Plugins

February 22, 2012

THIS IS A PICTURE OF THE APPLE ICON STABBING A PLUGIN

Can you imagine if Microsoft back in the days of operating system wars… just after the time they bailed out Apple when it was on its death bed, said to the world.., “Our browser will not support plugins.  Instead, we have made an app store on Windows where we will get 30% of apps sold.”  Well this is what Apple did.

A couple of things have changed since the Microsoft reign:

1. HTML 5 has introduced the canvas tag and we have kludged JavaScript to get better at making apps in the open source world – so why do we need plugins?

2. Mobile is here with less processing power than desktops – so we can’t run plugins… right?

3. Mobile is small and plugin content was built for large screens – right?

4. Apple has become a cult and can seemingly do no wrong.

Let us address these points:

1.  The world should not rely on one type of thing.  We know that.  Why are we allowing HTML 5 (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) to have a monopoly in our Web world?  Plugins offer a forum to let companies build improvements.  How can people support open source and then say… sorry, it has to be made in HTML 5.  That is hypocritical – or perhaps to be more delicate… narrow minded.  We need plugin architecture in our browsers or we will stagnate.  Alternatively, we will find companies making their own browser systems ala Second Life, Steam, etc.

2. The processing power of mobile devices initially was understandably slow.  Blackberry and Android supported the Flash plugin for instance and performance on existing Flash content was sluggish for the most part.  Speeds have been getting faster and faster and soon, if not already, have reached acceptable rates.  Also, plugin makers did not design them for mobile.  So, let them design plugins for mobile.

3. Mobile screens are small and any legacy content runs the risk of not working well from an interface standpoint.  There are a number of HTML sites that do not work well on mobile – why single out plugins and in particular Flash for not working well?  Here is an idea – plugins have version numbers… why not allow version numbers after a certain date so that legacy material is filtered out until it is updated with mobile in mind.  Going forward, designers and developers know they are making for mobile.   Flash, for instance, does run on mobile – the thousands of apps in the app stores built with Flash prove it.

4.  Apple, through its iPod, became huge.  This success continued with the iPhone and iPad all the while glamorizing the brand and also selling its laptops and desktops to a point where it is the most profitable company in the world.  Hey… and it takes 30% of all apps and songs sold.  Obviously, Apple benefits from killing browser plugins.  If the world can’t get free apps and games in the browser, they will have to buy from the app store where they get 30%.  Now this is somewhat good for app developers because they have a better chance of making some money too.  It is also somewhat beneficial to the public in that they love consuming and the app store is a laid out to easily consume.  So… Apple seems to have gotten away with it and unfortunately influenced other browser makers like Microsoft to make similar decisions – while also giving plugin makers an inferiority complex as advertising companies and the world shun them for not being on the iPhone browser.

A browser should find and present things.  Browsers find and present an image, a video – why not an interactive piece like a Flash Feature, a Java Applet or a Unity Game?  The browser should NOT say – oh… I have a way to make interactive content – therefore no other way will be allowed.  This is especially true when the plugin structure has used by billions with content created by millions of designer/developers.

Now… Apple did what they did – and if the market says okay – then I guess they should not be punished – is that how it works?  I find it unethical for a company to present an Internet browser to a captive audience that does not include plugins like other standard Internet browsers so that people will be forced to a store run by that company.  Apple, I punish you even if our business society does not – you are not getting any more of my money nor have you for the last 3 years.

The real loss, however, has been a setback in advanced interactive works in the short term followed by a monopoly led by a slow moving open source conglomerate in support of HTML, CSS and Javascript.  I have said it before, and I say it again… Open Source should not kill Closed Source – it is not good for advancement.  They should both exist.  Killing browser plugin architecture (or the likes) is a bad move.

Dan Zen

PS.

A caveat is that I don’t make browsers or plugins, so do not really know the technical difficulties of all this.  I heard from Adobe that it was not practical to support all the different phones, etc.  Yet, Flash works as an app through AIR on these same phones so there should be a plugin architecture for browsers that will just play the app in a frame.  If it can be done on the desktop it should be able to be done on mobile.

Processing is Dead! All Hail JavaScript!

January 21, 2012

hail2

Processing is Dead!  All Hail JavaScript and HTML5!

ActionScript is Dead!  All Hail JavaScript and HTML5!

Java is Dead!  All Hail JavaScript and HTML5!

Objective C is Dead! All Hail JavaScript and HTML5!

C++ is Dead! All Hail JavaScript and HTML5!

C# is Dead! All Hail JavaScript and HTML5!

Ruby is Dead! All Hail JavaScript and HTML5!

Python is Dead! All Hail JavaScript and HTML5!

PHP is Dead! All Hail JavaScript and HTML5!

Hopefully you detect my bitterness and disappointment with the open source world, the tech media and the marketing industry in their frenzy to adopt HTML5 as supreme leader and shun perfectly good programming environments.

My experience is with ActionScript and Flash – a mature authoring environment which allows developers to make once and publish anywhere.  Anywhere that is until Apple came along an banned it from the mobile Web with lame self-serving excuses.  What followed was nothing short of persecution.  https://danzen.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/apple-should-be-punished-for-attempting-to-kill-browser-plugins/

Processing is a spin-off of Java with a wonderful artist following to make cool things.  Well… watch out… once people realize that you can do this in JavaScript and HTML5 – maybe you will have the horde against you too.

Most of these languages are server side languages and back-end coders may think they are safe because JavaScript is a front end programming language… but there is server-side JavaScript too.

My point is – there does not have to be nor should there be one programming language or development stack.  Why we are letting the Web be controlled by one system is beyond me.  Countless Marketing folks, Developers and Designers I have talked to in the field are saying Flash is dead – Plugins are dead.  Stop trying to kill Flash with your words and start trying to support it.

My apologies for the harsh metaphor (not as harsh now that I have taken out the swastika from the picture).  Of course, nothing is worse than human persecution.  But what some of you with power of influence are doing when declaring Flash dead or accepting the demise of the Plugin is unjust and truly not good for our culture.  Please read https://danzen.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/apple-should-be-punished-for-attempting-to-kill-browser-plugins/.

Touchy on Dragons’ Den CBC

January 16, 2012

Touchy, the mobile game from Dan Zen will be featured in a short segment on CBC’s Dragon Den on January 18th, 2012 at 8PM.

Touchy – visit http://touchy.mobi – is available on the Apple iTunes store and Android Market. It is a social game where players physically try to touch each others’ mobile screens. So it is a game of reaching and protecting – with shrieks of laughter!

Arlene and Robert play Touchy on Dragons' Den

Arlene and Robert laughing after a game of Touchy

The pitch went well – but I was called in the day after a three day conference with late parties each night and this was just after a long open house – after I stopped talking, I could hardly get my mouth open – all I could do was nod and smile! Oh well – Inventor Dan Zen.

Touchy Inventor Dan Zen on Dragons' Den CBC

We would love your help getting Touchy out to the people – please check out the game on iTunes and Android Market – just search for Touchy – links are available at http://touchy.mobi, leave a review and tell anyone who you think would like to play – it is hard getting the message out to the youth – the primary market.

If you are interested in getting involved in an upcoming Touchy Tournament – find us on facebook and leave a message on the Wall – http://facebook.com/touchymobi – all the best!

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Altura – Pseudo Interactive Storytelling Site Launches

January 4, 2012

Altura at http://altura.mobi is a Web / Mobile site that lets people partake and write pseudo interactive stories in a fun and free manner.

We will not give away exactly how it works until you try it!  Suffice it to say, it is another interactive storytelling feature from creator Dan Zen – http://danzen.com to add to the long list of interactive fiction environments:

Interactive Storytelling GAMES
GORGOLON
Underwater Multi-user Sci-Fi Game
SAVE EARTH
Save Future Earth With This Online Remote Control!
MOUSTACHE MYSTERIES
Zany Mysteries from the Mind of the Moustache!
SHRINK RAY
Save thousands shrunk in a bottle!
BLIMP RACE
Fly your blimp with all your friends!
Social Interactive Storytelling
HIP CATS
Turn On, Jack In and Hang Out
CHANGING MAIL
Change sent mail after it is read
SPIROGRAM
Spiral Encode Messages To Friends
DENS
Atmospheric Forums
SPY-MAIL
Get Spied On!
COMMENT RIGHT
Encouragement for blog comments
Interactive Storytelling EXPERIENCES
TOWER OF BABEL
Whisper Words That Have Never Been Said
ZEN MOTTO
Philosophical Focus
A MILLION CLOUDS
Fly a Jet Pack Through a Million Clouds!
GYCOPO
The Game You Can Only Play Once!
PREDICTION TRAIN
Ride the Prediction Train Into the Future
Interactive Storytelling APPS
SNIPISODE
Tell stories through Facebook status lines!
TAPOLL
Predict-a-Poll Web 2.0 Site!
YASEESAY
Say What you See Tool!
ZEN MIX
Cool Vlogging Tool
ZEN PICTURE PAN ZOOM
Scrolling Picture Viewer

-2012-

Dan Zen Talk – Creativity and New Forms of Mobile Games

November 29, 2011

Dan Zen will give a talk at the Arnie Student Pub on December 5th 2011 at 6:30 as the keynote to the Software Hamilton DemoCamp.

The talk will go over using Hierarchies as a creative framework. So rather than approaching the subject philosophically, it will be a more practical guide with an explanation of terms and isomorphisms of hierarchies.

The talk will include a set of 20 hand illustrated and colored examples with similar style to the poster except done in black with white.

Dan Zen will connect everyone at the event physically and use this experience to explore creating new forms of mobile games and apps.

For more information and to register for free…

http://danzen.com/create

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Swoodle, Wavy, Tada!

November 12, 2011

Dan Zen has just launched three mobile apps on iOS, Android and Playbook. The apps were made efficiently with Adobe Flash and Flash Builder. Just search the stores for the apps by Dan Zen.

Swoodle Mobile App by Dan Zen TITLE: SWOODLE

BUILD: 2 Nights

DESC: Swoodle to hone your finger tai chi!

Wavy Mobile app by Dan Zen TITLE: WAVY!

BUILD: 1 Night

DESC: Wave your device to make sounds!

Tada! Mobile App by Dan Zen TITLE: TADA!

BUILD: 10 Nights

DESC: Decision and Faves tool.

The apps were uploaded to the three stores in one hour. This is amazing cross device efficiency from Adobe Flash and Flash Builder.

Dan Zen is the creator of TOUCHY the mobile app where players try to touch each others’ devices.

Touchy - Mobile Game by Dan Zen

The Truth about Flash on Mobile

November 10, 2011

Adobe Flash on Mobile with AIR

There has been a lot of buzz about how Adobe has “Killed Flash on Mobile”.  This is not true.

  1. Flash on mobile is being focused to make APPS.  Adobe will focus on HCJ (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) for mobile browsers.
  2. The current Flash plugin is still supported on mobile including security updates so any legacy content on mobile devices will continue to work.  Adobe will not be developing future plugin versions on mobile.

BACKGROUND

In general, the mobile browser is for looking at things and mobile apps are for doing things.  Flash is great for making apps.  HCJ is fine for presentation and animation on the browser.  Flash would have been fine as well if you discount legacy pages that were not designed for mobile and of course if all platforms supported it.

If you would like to read more of a background on the split between browsers and apps on mobile and the differences between Flash and HCJ, then please read my earlier post:
https://danzen.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/flash-and-hcj-html-css-and-javascript/

Flash HCJ - HTML CSS JavaScript

ADOBE

Adobe has clearly stated that it is focusing Flash-on-mobile for making APPS in articles such as these:
http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2011/11/focusing.html
http://mikechambers.com/blog/2011/11/11/clarifications-on-flash…

Adobe AIR

EXAMPLES

Here is a recent post about three mobile apps that Dan Zen has just launched that are made with Flash and Flash Builder:
https://danzen.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/swoodle-wavy-tada/

SOME COOL FLASH SITES

Flash remains on browsers on desktop and if indeed the plugin architecture fades on desktop, there is AIR for desktop apps which will support Flash.  Also, there are experiments in streaming Flash interactive content to browsers without the use of plugins  which would be ready I am sure by any demise of desktop/laptop browser plugins.  Below is a link to some excellent Flash experiences should you need a more positive reminder of what we can build.

http://www.thefwa.com/article/30-flash-sites-that-school-html5

Or click the icons below (thanks FWA for the compilation!):

A great example of an immersive experience site that drops you right onto Normandy beach on D-Day. With 360 degree beach views and real video stories.

Flash and HCJ (HTML, CSS and JavaScript)

October 24, 2011

Flash HCJ - HTML CSS JavaScript

In this post, I will compare Adobe Flash and HCJ (a handy acronym for HTML, CSS and JavaScript).

QUICK CREDENTIAL CHECK

I have built hundreds of features and sites in Flash and HCJ over 15 years of creation at http://danzen.com for which I received the Canadian New Media Awards Programmer of the Year.  I coordinate the Sheridan Interactive Multimedia Post Grad Program http://imm.sheridanc.on.ca for which I received the Canadian New Media Educator of the Year.  I also explore the philosophical side of coding at http://nodism.org.

PURPOSE OF POST

The purpose of this post is to help clarify what these technologies do to better guide our direction.  In a more specific context, there are a lot of people bashing Flash and I would like to put this in perspective.

  HCJ SUMMARY

HTML, CSS and JavaScript is an open source system to display Web pages and mobile Web apps

  • HTML is a tagging language that identifies and organizes the elements of the page.
  • CSS defines styles (look and position) that can be applied to the elements of the page.
  • JavaScript is a programming language based on ECMA Script that can work with HTML elements and styles.

  FLASH SUMMARY

Flash is an application to make features that run in a browser plugin or in the AIR environment for desktop and mobile Apps

  • The application has tools to build visual assets like vector illustrations, animations, text, images, sound and video.
  • Flash has the ActionScript programming language which is based on ECMA Script (latest Object Oriented).
  • Flash also supports CSS for styling.
NOTE:
Both systems access server side scripting just fine to store and retrieve data or to accomplish asynchronous loading like AJAX.  This was a hallmark of Flash ten years ago.  Flash also has Flash Builder and the Flex framework which is a tag based approach that publishes a Flash file.  The Flash compile code is open source as is the Flash code that people make if they choose.  For instance, my http://flashfeathers.com series of advanced interfaces is open source. Regardless, open source should not kill closed source.

COMPARISON

Both systems have the same potential.  The main difference is in culture and in tooling.

Over the last ten plus years, creators of Flash and creators using Flash have been in a symbiotic relationship to hone the tooling of Flash specifically for making enhanced interactive features (see INTERACTIVITY SCALE post). This means that there are  hundreds of media specific classes (code) with thousands of properties, methods and events tailored to interacting with the media.  Everything we need has been carefully catered to (or filtered out), organized, tested and applied.

HCJ, on the other hand, has been used primarily for display and collection of information.  So culturally, there is a ten year gap – even in basic functionality like rotation, let alone the culture of dragging, collision, keyboard commands, bitmap control, sound and video manipulation, filters, 3D, etc.  I say culturally, because some of these things were possible, just not really sought after.  There might be hundreds of hit tests done in HCJ and millions done in Flash.

Culturally, over the last few years (and particularly since the iOS no-Flash-in-Browser “NFIB” situation) there have been steps to move HCJ in the direction of enhanced interactive features. As mentioned, the potential is there.  People are building  libraries – a famous one being JQuery, and media is getting tag support with HTML 5, etc.

Tools are being built – even by Adobe, especially by Adobe, to support enhanced interactive features in the HCJ system.  Tool makers have the benefit of seeing Flash grow and will no doubt catch up to where Flash is now in a few years.  Of course, in a few years, Flash will have continued to progress as it is doing in the direction of 3D.

ANALYSIS

We are again at a time where Consumption and Creation have been separated.  In the 90’s we consumed online and created on our desktop.  In the 00’s, we did both on the Web although the creation pattern has always lagged far behind the consumption pattern. In the 10’s, with the arrival of mobile devices and in particular the success and arrangement of the iOS devices, we have the Web for consuming stuff and the Apps for creating stuff.  Communication sits between or can be done on both sides.

Consumption with browsers and creation with apps is a natural split as indicated by the names – browser and apps. As an application builder, I do not mind the the split because we have a way to get paid for the apps!  Try getting paid for a Web app – I have tried for 15 years with little success.

Marketing loves the split too – because they get to show authoritative content to the viewer.  Unfortunately, there has been a throw-back to authoritative content and I think they have forgotten the power of user created content – rotating a picture of a car in 3D is not user created content and only scratches at the surface of engagement.

PREDICTION

The split between consumption on the Web and creation with Apps will hang around for a while **.  There will be some enhanced interactive sites with the HCJ system but for the most part, people will think that fancy animation is enhanced interactivity and they will be satisfied consuming. The HCJ system will also be used to make apps.  Most of these apps will be information apps – as in, “it is on the Web but we wanted a presence in the App store”.  Other HCJ apps may rival Flash and Native apps in enhanced interactivity but if the Adobe Flash team and community does its job, Flash will keep ahead of the curve – the curve that they created in enhanced interactivity.  Props to Flash.

NOTE:
Flash now uses hardware acceleration to help with issues of slowness on macs, etc. in video playing and 3D and more mobile functionality is available so there has been (and will be) improvements in speed and functionality.

CONCERNS AND CONCLUSION

The Flash community is very open and creative – some have gone on to help HCJ with their experience.  What has not been very helpful is calling Flash (or letting Flash be called) taboo because clients can’t get their message on iOS Web.  Marketing agencies should offer (or continue to offer) engaging mobile APPS as a further opportunity to build brand experience.  Right now, for the most part, there is no better and efficient way to create enhanced interactive experiences across the mobile platforms than Flash and Flash Builder – I guarantee it.  Adobe is doing a wonderful job with the tools – just perhaps not as good a job as Apple with the hype.

Dan Zen Signature

Dan Zen – 2011

** It is possible that we will sway away from the Web as an all encompassing place for everything.  The Web will act like a promotional place for offline and online products. More and more products will access the Internet directly like multiuser game “clients”.  This will happen more so if we kill plugin architecture – either that or everyone will have their own browser (Google has already started with Chrome and its custom extensions).   If you are thinking of going this way – Adobe AIR allows you to make your own Web browser – similar to Steam for instance.

FINAL NOTE:
There have been generalizations made in this post – to go through all the specifics would have been lengthy.

-11-

Interactivity Scale

October 23, 2011

Interactivity, computation and distribution are the three main distinctions between the Internet and the authoritative content of TV, Print and Radio.

The following is a chart showing aspects of interactivity with examples.  These are ordered by general purpose going from simple navigational interactivity for consumption at the bottom to enhanced interactivity for creation at the top.  There is often a blend of these aspects, for instance, you select and move a collage piece as you organize it.  The scale shows tendencies.

Dan Zen - Interactivity Scale

Click the picture for full size.  Let me know if this is useful or used.

Inventor Dan Zen
http://danzen.com

–11–

Tapoll Gets Bigger!

August 27, 2011

Tapoll - Polls with a twist of foreplay

Tapoll at http://tapoll.com has received over 100,000 views.  In honor, we have made it bigger!  We took the 980 pixel width of Facebook, Google+. flickr, etc. to make Tapoll easier to see and operate!

TWIST

Tapoll polls have a unique twist:

Tapoll lets you predict and vote on a poll at the same time.

The results then show the predictions which often vary quite a bit from the actual votes.  Using the graph feature, you can see over and under predictions as well as the percent of user who voted for their own prediction.  This is often in the 50% range.

SHARING

Just recently, we added share buttons for Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Sharing Tapoll Polls on Facebook, Twitter and Google+

VIDEO DEMO

The top left corner is redesigned and now includes a link to a video demo on YouTube.
Tapoll Demo Video on YouTube

INTERACTIVE VIDEO AD

On the right hand side you will see a video ad for the Touchy game at http://touchy.mobi.  It shows up every once in a while and relates the ad to the keywords of the poll you are viewing.

Interactive Video Ad for Tapoll featuring Content Relevant Video

INSPIRATION!

Tapoll also shows related news and social links in the inspiration column at right.  If you press the TAPOLL button next to any of these, it will start you off creating a poll with this link, picture, video, etc. cited as a reference.  You can also make a poll based on another Tapoll poll as well using the TAPOLL button under any poll.

Social Media Mash Up of Relevant content from Flickr, YouTube, Digg, Delicious, Amazon

Please come on by and share a few polls on your social sites!

-11-

Dan Zen and Thee Gnostics Dance – Alien Juice

August 27, 2011

Click above to see Video.  Thee Gnostics at http://theeGnostics.com are a Space Rock band from Hamilton.  Dan Zen is the one with the big round glasses – Gaven in robe and Russ in Fried Potato Gang shirt.  Missing are Matt and Thomas although they are playing on the song.

Fun to get the gang dancing – quite the eclectic styles.  Please visit Thee Gnostic playlist on YouTube and leave a comment or two!

TADA! Make Decisions or Discover Your True Favourites With the TADA! Mobile App for Android and Playbook

March 27, 2011

Tada! Free App for mobile Android and Playbook

A few taps and Tada! Decision!

Quickly and easily rank options with Tada! Enter items to rank like sites, apps, people, food and rate them on factors such as usability, fun, nose, taste, etc. When you are done rating press to reveal the results!

Save multiple files, do secret rankings, and get tips if you are stuck. Helps solve dilemmas in a real way as opposed to a random way.  A few presses and Tada!

Available on the Android Market and soon for Playbook and iPad.

Have fun!  Tada! was used to come up with the name for the product.

-2011-


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