Custom Hardware + Flash Platform = Great Customer Experience

In today’s crowded consumer market many companies are looking for ways to differentiate their services and thus attract more customers while retaining the existing ones. The application I will talk about in this post is a great example of how you can enhance customer’s buying experience in a market that is highly competitive: the Telecom industry.

But first, watch this video:

The application was created by B-Reel (a Swedish company) for the 3 Telecom provider in Sweden. By using a custom hardware with a Flash application running on top of it, 3 Telecom operators can offer an experience that is very close to in-shop service for customers who are looking to buy a new terminal.

Now, if this is not cool… What do you think?

Two amazing Flash projects: Screenergy and Creaza

If you haven’t seen these two projects, then please keep reading. I’m sure even if you are familiar with all kinds of cool rich Internet apps these two apps will surprise you. And to tell you the truth, I was surprised too. It seems that every now and then some cool projects pop up and they manage to move what is possible with the Flash Platform to a whole new level.

Enough talking, let’s start with the first project. is a multi-touch 46″ full HD table with object tracking capabilities. Well, these specs are cool but not something to amaze you. Yet! They used this cool hardware as the platform to run AIR applications that allow people of any age and background to interact visually with a system that handles and displays loads of data. Basically, the system can recognize a specialized card you place on the table and display the information related to that card. You can move the card on the screen, and you can expand and change settings. Here are some pictures to help you better grasp the amazing interactivity that Screenergy provides:

This project was built for the Global Climate conference in Copenhagen (2009). And the visitors and VIPs were able to visualize the impact that different changes have on the climate. Here you can get a taste of the application and here is a video with the table in action:

I knew about this project from the beginning because the people who built it approached me back in October 2009. They told me “we want to build an application for a touch table using AIR for the UI, and the client is one of the organizations behind the Copenhagen’s Climate Change conference. We have about a month to do it! “. Then we talked about AIR 2 features (at that time it was in private beta) and how they could leverage AIR 2 features for their project. And then, before Christmas, I received an email from them telling me that the project was delivered on time and it was a success.

The second project,, is delivered as a web application using Flash Player. It is a suite of four programs: a mind-mapping tool, a movie editor, a sound editor, and an online comic tool for creating cartoons/digital stories. Funny,  I know the guys behind this project too :) I had the pleasure to meet them back in 2007 during a user interview around Flex Builder 2 at that time.

For me the most amazing product from this suite is MovieEditor. It is one thing to play video in the browser and a totally different thing to be able to create a movie inside the browser using a web application that is pretty close to desktop video editors in terms of features and performance. You can use this timeline-based video editor to create movies  complete with professional-looking titles, transitions, effects, animation, music, and narration. You can test this app here.

I think these two projects are not at all two lonely rain drops lost in an ocean. I strongly believe that this is the natural result of the maturity and power the Flash Platform has achieved. The Flash Platform truly makes easy things easy, and hard things possible. There are more than 3 million Flash developers according to Evans Data, and many of these developer started with the Platform in the past two years. There are tons of libraries, frameworks, and tools to pick from (both commercial and open-source). There are many companies and agencies with a lot of experience in building rich Internet applications.

In a nutshell, I’m seeing an ecosystem that is growing and innovating faster than ever. Thus, I’m sure that many more cool projects will cross my path and I’d be happy to talk about them. And remember, these two projects are not just a proof of concept; these are fully functional projects that make money. The companies who built them are not huge corporations – quite the contrary. But what they may lack in terms of money they make up in imagination and a belief that everything is possible!

What do you think?