Sunday, March 18, 2007


On this last Thursday, March 15th, we had a guest speaker – Gregory Prince – on our Multimedia Pioneering class, talking about his project FileMobile.

Gregory Prince is one of founders of the FileMobile web site, an innovative tool in the internet sharing world. The main propose of the site is to provide a wide variety of sharing and publishing information forms, with all kinds of multimedia files, like videos, photographs and audio files. The site also facilitates the collection and organization of media files.

Below, it will be shown some interesting aspects of this new system:
All the administration structure was elaborated in Flash, permitting the users to realize different functions in a friendly way.

Different communities can be created for specific subjects, facilitating the communication between people with same interests.

The WEB 2.0 concept, where the information can move between different sites is used, allowing communication with blogs and other files like photographs, for example.

The TAGs system used as key words increases the organization and communicability for the users.

As you can see, the FileMobile came to amplify the communication between people, their capability of self-expression and their curiosity about others. One of the best things in the site, is that, like on blogs, Youtube, Flicker and Orkut, are the users themselves who create all content by sharing their files. But here, the differential is the versatility, in their own words: "a swiss army knife to help you share your digital life with the world."


Saturday, February 10, 2007


On this last Thursday, February 08th, we had a guest speaker - James Eberhardt, - on our Multimedia Pioneering class, talking about the Mobile Technology and its market.

PDAs, Smartphones, Cell phones, MP3 players and other devices are converging to a new concept of applications and bringing a fresh horizon for the Web-solutions environment. Sizes of screen, resolution variation, band, signal and user’s profiles are items that will have to be managed. Today, the mobile market is compounded with all types of devices with different characteristics, showing that the technology does not have a standard. This condition put the mobile developers in a complex situation, because now the solutions have to be made to fit each specific device.

The Mobile technology has some significant services. The SMS stands for Short Message Service, a smart way to send and receive plain text between one cell phone to another, or even between a computer and another mobile device. Also there is the MMS service that stands for Multimedia Message Service; you can add video, music or pictures to your messages. These two services have been extensively used by the end users on the past few years and the numbers are showing an increasing. People are getting used to this technology and the market is finding new possibilities for these services.

Most of the applications done for mobile devices are written in JAVA. We have a lot of games and small applications coming inside our cell phones using JAVA as the standard language, despite the fact that this is not a simple language and requires more time for the development of the applications.

There are other possibilities on the process to create applications for mobile devices, for example there is the FLASH LITE, a small version of flash player which supports Flash 7 and ActionScript 2.0 in the last version, making possible play flash files on cell phones and MP3 players. The problem is that just a few devices come with Flash Lite installed.

The mobile technology is for sure a huge market with a lot of opportunities and space for innovations. Last month we had the iPhone presentation, which was called by Apple as a revolutionary device. For sure we can wait for great changes in the field in the next years. Below some links about mobile technology are presented.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

WEB 2.0

The Internet, until some time ago, was characterized almost exclusively of static content - full plain pages of information. The user did not have the power to interact, to comment or to share with others. The web community grew and the internet became our first choice for searching information, the web is not anymore attached to one big web site, but instead, different sites are sharing files and information.

The web 2.0 could be defined as a huge network where users can divide content and services, increasing the interactivity and allowing each one of us to share our personal experiences. One great thing about the web 2.0 is that our own content can feed this network and people can see and evaluate, helping to establish a better association of information.

There are some characteristics that help to create the idea of Web 2.0 applications. In most of these applications we can TAG words, images and all kind of information. The act of tagging things on the web help to construct comminutes and social environments. Tagging is like putting keywords in things, so people can search for these keywords later and share their ideas. The RSS feed is another example, XML files with headlines and news that facilitate the access to information.

Here are some good sites that illustrate the Web 2.0 concept:
- NetVibes, a web site that allows the users to create their own web page, with an incredible diversity of objects and components;
- Orkut: a web community where web users can share information about themselves.
- Second Life: a 3D world where people can interact and share knowledge.

As we can see, today on the web, the user has the main role, creating and sharing information, experiences and lives.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

VDI (Visualization Design Institute)

Inside Sheridan College there are some research units. The VDI is a unit working on the research about computer visualization and simulation. In the Institute they are development several projects correlated with design and interactivity.

We had the chance to see some of their projects and the technology behind the interface. They have done some work with Flash, using action script to provide to the user the possibility of interactivity. They have done some work for the Justice Knowledge Network to help the law enforcement community. They created a virtual environment in this project to help police officers to understand how to proceed after a car crash. How to measure the trail the car left. So, they produced all the interface animations and also a Random number responsible to generate a variety of scenarios.

Another interesting project is the 3D Ontario virtual world. This kind of project helps us to visualize how possible changes could materialize. They recreated the city with street cars to assist us on how the city would look like. The interactive cinema was really fun to see. A place where we can see a movie and also interact with, choosing the way that we want the story ends.

Here are some links:
- Interactive cinema
- Visualization & Simulation Center
- Virtual Tour
- 3D Brain
- Computer Animation

Computer Visualization and simulation is indispensable to support engineers, medics and designers on the elaboration of their real projects.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Gesture technology

Human gesture expressions are very important aspect of our communication system. Primarily we communicate by speech, but gesture is a key supplement in making ourselves understood. Not surprisingly, there are many new markets coming up to work with gesture technology communication.

Advanced multimedia applications can get large benefits from gesture user interface technology. We can use gesture applications for different kinds of tasks, such as movement control and text editing. At the moment, however, gesture technology is being utilized much more by the graphical application field. This market includes 3D software, games and interactive walls. There is still a huge potential to expand the gesture technology market to day-to day tasks, related to non-graphical applications. One example of these a prospective application would be in a document processing program, where we could virtually delete or change words using our hands.

Gesture technology is something quiet recent in the Multimedia world and we still have to figure out all the possible utilities and applications for this technology. There are some companies in the market exploring this world and building amazing applications. Here are some links:
3D application

It was very interesting to see these applications working and understand how they were build. I would like to highlight two applications: the 3D environment and the interactive floor. In the 3D world, the technology behind involves camera capture and real time processing that enables the person who is playing to feel part of the environment.
The Interactive floor looks much simpler, but it has also a enormous impact in the user.

In the other hand this technology has a lot to improve, most of the multimedia environments are still limited to some few hand movements and the user expects more freedom.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Big Interactivity

Our social relations in the contemporary world do not summarize any more to the contact face to face. They are now inserted in multiple environments. A new type of communication is born: the communication mediated for machines.

The evolution of graphical interfaces improves the relation between the user and the machine, creating a context for the action and interaction. A lot of different technologies come out every day from the industry and we need to be prepared to understand the benefits and utilities to create environments where the user is not just one part of the process, but he has also the power to create and interact with the content.

It’s important to our society to have organizations such as InterAccess. Places where we can find information and examples of electronic media arts. The big interactivity is something that everyone wants to see and play with. Here are some links of other places where you can find out information about Media Arts.

There are people such as David Rokeby working on things that we never thought before. He developed an installation where different sounds were mixed inside computers and the sounds were redirected between the computers. In the presentation we saw many others examples of media arts, such as the “One free minute speech” and the building which we could post messages.

There are companies looking for the new possibilities of working with big interactivity. The consumers are expecting new interfaces and there is a large space for exploration beyond the computer monitor. People want to have new experiences with technology and the market is ready to receive innovations.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Since my graduation in Broadcasting Communication four years ago I have been engaged in different media projects. I have been working from the production of a video about teenage criminal offenders to web site design and implementation for a commercial magazine.
I believe the term Multimedia has become a sort of catch-all for digital convergence products. It is difficult to get a definition about what could be the concept of our profession. I can say for sure that the term Multimedia involves important aspects such as usability, navigational logic, design and interactivity.