Archive for the 'application' Category

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Project Aviary

Given the announcements at MAX this morning, this is very interesting.


Aviary is a suite of rich internet applications geared for artists of all genres. From image editing to typography to music to 3D to video, we have a tool for everything. At Worth1000, we are creating a complex ecosystem for artists and providing the world with free, capable collaborative tools and an approach to collaboration and rights management that will turn the marketplace for online art on its head.

“All of our tools are based right in your browser or as downloadable AIR applications. Our tools all communicate and relate to each other. To illustrate an example: You can import a swatch from Toucan into Phoenix, while doing complex bitmap processing of a 3D object developed in Hummingbird. Finally, you can take your finished artwork and lay it out in Owl as the DVD artwork for a music CD you and your friends put together in Roc and Myna and offer it for sale in our marketplace, Hawk.”

From the screenshots on their blog, it would seem as if all these applications are built in Flex or AIR.

Woodpecker – their smart image resizing app – was demoed at Techcrunch40 the other week and incorporates Seam Carving, the process of smart image resizing first pioneered by the brilliant Dr. Ariel Shamir, and can be seen working at MAX if you email the guys at aviary( a )

The full suite of applications which sit in the Aviary are:

Phoenix – Image editor
Toucan – Color swatches and palettes creator.
Peacock – Computer algorhythm-based pattern generator.
Raven – Vector editor
Hummingbird – 3D Modeller and skinner
Myna – Audio editor
Roc – Music generator
Starling – Video editor
Owl – Desktop publishing layout editor
Penguin – Word processing software geared towards creative writers.
Pigeon – Painting simulator
Tern – Terrain generator. This is a mini tool.
Horus – Font editor
Woodpecker – Smart image resizer (seam carving). This is a mini-tool.
Rookery – A free, unlimited distributed file system network that anyone can connect to and store data in. It also powers our search engine.
Hawk – Digital content marketplace
Eagle – A smart online application that can identify complex data about an image based on the pixel patterns (i.e. which specific camera an image originally came from).
Crane – Custom image product creator, that can integrate with other websites.

A complete list of tools that are being created can be found here.

Buzzword, the online word processor Adobe announced purchasing this morning would seem to fit into the ‘Penguin’ category…I’ll be watching this space avidly since they seem to have covered off pretty much every aspect of digital design.

Google Analytics in AIR


This unofficial AIR version of Google Analytics delivers the functionality of browser-based Google Analytics but with greater
usability and a richer experience. If you haven’t heard of AIR (once named “Apollo”), it’s a platform developed by Adobe that enables web developers to deploy their web services outside of the browser so they function more like traditional applications.

This is the first AIR program that I have tested that really gets me excited about the platform. As a beta program, it’s not perfect (I ran into a few errors), but overall it has been executed very well. It’salso nice to see such a fully-functional program.

Check out Google Analytics AIR beta. If you don’t already have AIR, you need to download it to use any AIR-base applications (as with Flash).

Both Adobe and Google are involved in this project now. Adobe has included the application in its Showcase program, and
Google product managers and engineers are providing him with feedback and helping him make it more secure.

The beta 2 of Google Analytics AIR will focus on improved international support and the integration of AdWords.

via Techcrunch

google announces launch of gadget ads

Google has been running a private beta to a select number of advertisers since May. Today they announced the limited launch of Google Gadget Ads, a new interactive ad format that will run on their content network. Unlike Google AdWords’ existing array of text, video and graphical ads, Google Gadget Ads are designed to be interactive, can be built using HTML or Flash, and support both cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-impression (CPM) pricing models (more specs here).

Designed to act more like content than a typical ad, they run on the Google™ content network, competing alongside text, image and video ads for placement.

They support both cost-per-click and cost-per-impression pricing models, and offer a variety of contextual, site, geographic and demographic targeting options to ensure the ads reach relevant users with precision and scale.

Gadget ads are also built on an open platform, allowing anybody from individual advertisers to agencies to set up and run ads on the Google content network, the world’s largest global online ad network. Plus, gadget ads will not command any serving or hosting costs.

Feedback from preliminary beta participants, including brand advertisers such as Pepsi-Cola North America’s Sierra Mist, Intel, Honda, Six Flags and Paramount Vantage, has been overwhelmingly positive.

Here’s the rundown on Google Gadget Ads:

  • The ads are interactive
  • They can be both HTML and Flash based
  • Google Gadget Ads can incorporate real-time data feeds
  • Different targeting options – contextual, site, geographic, and demographic
  • Built on an open platform – open to anyone
  • They can be placed on any web page, including iGoogle
  • Detailed interaction reports – track dozens of actions within each ad unit

Here’s an example from Honda:
and here are the specifics of the campaign.
(More Google Gadget Ads examples here)

via Marketing Pilgrim

Flex showcase

Finally Adobe seems to be getting on to showcasing some good Flex examples.

Subscribe to an RSS feed of the showcase list to get the latest addtions added automatically.

Any ideas on how to rate these?

VW used car finder : Flex example

Very good looking and easy to use VW used car finder built in Flex:

Flex app

results page

brilliant data visualisation examples

Brilliant article which goes into details regarding all the different types of data visualisation examples. Mindmaps, displaying news, displaying data, displaying connections, displaying web-sites, articles & resources, tools & services – simply genius and well worth a read.

New Uniqlo website

This widget can be added to your own blog by visiting Uniqlo’s website. The concept behind the site is simple: Enter your blog page details to be added to a global map of blogs and copy a snippet of code to add this widget to your blog.

Nice piece of online marketing – It’s desireable and well executed. Go get it!

Facebook applications

Tony over at Teknision has an update to a post his partner in crime Gabor posted a month or so ago that’s worth reading. In it they both discuss and refine the types of application that are currently being built on Facebook.

I’ve been in a load of discussions at work with people who want to create Facebook applications for clients and the 3 types Teknision have formulated are a good way of describing the current state of play.

However, I’m not sure they go far enough and they also don’t mention the types of application (For Facebook, For the Desktop and For the Web).

The popularity of these applications are really interesting, particularly if you take Teknision’s views on board. Whilst the most popular application for Facebook has just tipped 8.1million, the most popular application for your Desktop, the Facebook toolbar for Firefox, has only 161,000 and for the Web, Jobster has been downloaded a total of 33,000 times.

These figures go to show how confused and untapped the Facebook application landscape is and explains why brands have been slow to create their own branded applications for Facebook…so far.

The Branded Application…another take

There’s a brilliant observation written by Mac Randall of Interactive Cognition concerning the success of Nike+ at Cannes the other week.

He describes the site as a ‘Branded Application’, a product. But what is a Branded Application?

“Traditional campaigns focus on entertainment to deliver a message,” writes Teknision, ” while Branded Applications provide a valuable service in order to deliver an emotional connection with a brand.”

So, Branded Applications offer valuable services which provide an emotional connection to a brand. Essentially, you’re providing something useful to your audience and at the same time you’re offering them opportunities to purchase some of your brand’s products.

As Mac goes onto say, “Brands that choose this path will be dramatically set apart from those that are still intent on interrupting the consumer wherever they are. Finding clever ways to yell “buy more” is a trite form of communication and is hopefully cruising towards its demise.

Branded Applications pick up where most websites fall short. The branded application is much deeper than a flashy microsite because there is an opportunity to excel where other experiences fall short. Applications like Nike + take the power of the web, the idea of community, the growing ability to build tools online, and run with it (yes, that horrible pun intended). The experience is sleek, useful, engaging, and most importantly begs to be revisited time and time again.”

Whilst I don’t agree with the last sentence – I actually find the site cumbersome to use for the most part – I do agree with the value it offers.

Nike Plus
I’m interested in seeing the Nike+ application evolve for a different reason to Teknision. I would question how much elastic limit the Nike+ application has for more value to be bolted on to it. Applications by their very nature do one thing well. I believe Nike and RG/A are in danger of dilluting the value of the Nike+ product they’ve created by extending its functionality rather than taking what they’ve built and making it more stable, more reliable and a more solid product overall.

Rather than bolting additional functionality onto the Nike+ application, making it more unwieldy, light-weight applications which do one thing well and interconnect via an platform-like API – much like a suite of themed applications – would be better. Unfortunately, design implimentations like that only occur when you’re not working to the same timeframe as your marketing calender but instead for the benefit of your consumers and the long term.

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