Guest post from Chris Saunders – Ed.
Wrapping up the Asia-Pacific leg of the 2012 BlackBerry® 10 Jam World Tour has left many of us with bittersweet feelings. It’s been an incredible experience to meet so many excited and accomplished developers across the region, to visit new cultures, and to see new sights. For me, it has been especially rewarding to host the final stop in the region out of my home base here in Australia.
For our experts who travelled across the world to arrive in region – the two weeks of trips, multiple red-eye flights, late nights and early mornings – everyone still had their enthusiasm and energy like it was the first stop. Pre-registrations for the Sydney stop took up every available seat, and the excitement and interest was palpable. For many in attendance, they had not had the chance to see the new direction BlackBerry® is undertaking and the exciting new features of the BlackBerry® 10 experience. It was also a great opportunity for them to see the work their peers are actively doing with the platform, and vicariously live through that excitement until they were able to get their hands on their very own BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha testing device later in the day.
The obvious highlight for me was the privilege of having several local developers join me on stage during the technical keynote to discuss their developments. The Voxel Agents (of Train Conductor fame, @TheVoxelAgents) had a great demo and discussion around how easy it is to port existing content and leverage the power of the platform, thereby creating new channels for deploying their games to a whole new global market. Gruden (@GrudenDigital) was able to show us how easy it was to create high-profile, compelling applications on-time and in-budget with the Adobe® AIR® runtime, and we discussed the ease of targeting the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ with their fully integrated news and video portal for Fox Sports. But I have to admit it was Conduct (@conduct) who stole the show and wowed those in attendance with a real-time demo of an application they created to push the limits of the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha testing device. You really need to see it to understand it, but in a nutshell it parses a feed of tweets in real time, and creates a visual display of this information based on the paths that particles take from various keywords (each particle is a tweet and there are emitters that push particles out, and attractors that the particles are drawn to). You can add, delete, drag and move both emitters and attractors, and all particles on the screen are gravitationally pulled towards where they need to be. It makes for a fascinating visualization of an immense amount of data and the subsequent relationships.
The demo was written using the new GamePlay initiative, which is an Open Source library designed to allow users to create visually compelling games and applications that stretch the capabilities of mobile devices (http://www.gameplay3d.org/). And for this demo, it worked wonders — such an incredible way of visualizing the data-mining of a real-time feed, and determining non-obvious and emerging patterns within a massive data set. Exactly the kind of work that would make Edward Tufte (@EdwardTufte) proud!
On behalf of everyone from RIM® in attendance, it was our pleasure to host and share with you the direction that BlackBerry is heading. To finish, I would just like to say thank you for joining us and being a part of such an exciting series of events across the region. We’re all eager to get back on the road, and see you again soon.
All the Best,
Christopher Saunders (@csaunders_ca)
Developer Relations, Australia and New Zealand