Saturday, May 29, 2010

Robots: they re-arrange themselves and officiate a marriage ceremony

Yukiko Sawada and Takashi Tsubouchi at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, have built a self-configuring conference room, where the tables are robots that re-arrange themselves based on an initial configuration inputed through a User Interface:

And, if we are on the subject of robots, also in Japan, a robot named i-Fairy officiated a marriage ceremony:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mobile Monday Miami - May 2010

Yesterday evening I attended my first Mobile Monday Miami meeting. It was a breath of fresh air to meet and connect with people that share the same interest as I do, and are enthusiastic about anything and everything mobile. The topic was "Will The Mobile Web Kill Off The App Store?" The overall conclusion was that whether you develop your app on the mobile browser or natively, it really depends on the uses case you have at hand. Let's look at some pros and cons of both approaches:
  • Mobile Web
    • PROS: One app for all platforms (almost). With the adoption of WebKit (iPhone, Android, WebOS, Nokia, and soon RIM) and HTML 5, this could become the cross-platform solution that everyone is searching for.
    • CONS: Getting access to some low level functionality of the phone is very difficult. Could you query the phone's proximity sensor for example? Not really. 
  • Native
    • PROS: Full access to the phone's APIs that provide you a way to query its hardware.
    • CONS: Having to develop one app for each platform. There are cross-platform tools that try to mitigate this issue. I haven't used any of those tools, although I wrote about them, but the comment made by Steve Jobs that the platforms will support the lowest common denominator in terms of features. However, I imagine that you could tweak the tools to take advantage of the features provided by every platform that you target.
Another view of the topic discussed Monday was the benefit of having an App Store in terms of discoverability and distribution, a one stop place. This can never be achieved with a web version.

Overall, fantastic discussions, great turnout, I'll definitely become a regular.