Guest post by Jeff Murphy.
So imagine that you have just walked into a music festival. The first questions that occur to you are:
- Who’s on stage?
- Where are my friends?
- Where’s the beer tent?
This scenario, as viewed through the possibilities of BlackBerry® 10 version 10.2 is the genesis of the Lighthouse Demo: Mosh Pit Hero, developed by BlackBerry Alliance Partner Macadamian.
This demo shows the true essence of a partnership with BlackBerry®, according to Meaghan Reinecke, Macadamian’s Senior Usability Specialist. “We are partners, not employees. We get to take BlackBerry’s cool stuff, and get it to do cool stuff – rich, practical applications that could not be developed on any other platform.” Mosh Pit Hero shows not only the native features in BlackBerry 10, but the possibilities within the grasp of talented developers. Check out a video from the BlackBerry Jam Americas 2013 General Session for more information:
In most cases, big data is just marketing hype, sales talk and jargon. And through all the big data noise it’s easy to lose sight of the simple truth − it’s not the size of the data that counts; it’s how you use it. Macadamian knew they wanted to create a demo focused on the passive gathering of data, the understanding of the data gathered, and most importantly, the use and presentation of big data in a useful, interesting and engaging way.
In true open-source fashion, Macadamian hosted a 24-hour hackathon across their enterprise, entertaining ideas from designers around the world. The ideas that came out of the hackathon were solid, but according to developer Vivien Mathews, what really pushed the idea for this app over the edge was the ability to seamlessly integrate native abilities with established software at “the heart of the application; things like geofencing, network data and integration with social platforms such as Twitter®, that was all on a Cascades™ framework. The seamless integration with Box2D and Cocos2d allowed us to present big data in an engaging and interactive way. The seamless integration of Cascades capabilities with open-source physics and gaming engines was what sealed the deal.”
From ideation through demonstration, the development lifecycle for Mosh Pit Hero was just over three weeks. According to Meaghan, Macadamian’s ability to deliver such a rich application in such a short period of time came down to two simple things: ease of use and support. “Macadamian doesn’t just develop on BlackBerry 10, we develop on all of the other major platforms as well. We have noticed that you can develop quickly on BlackBerry 10, quicker than other platforms. The support is amazing as well; we work with tight timelines, and when we have an issue, BlackBerry gets back to me. They have a real person answer my questions, follow up with me, make sure that my problems are solved. I don’t get that from other platforms. Most importantly though, success is based on the quality of the application, and with BlackBerry 10, you can build richer, more engaging platforms.”