Hamish Rickerby

Technology Consultant & iOS Developer based in Sydney, Australia

I’m on a List

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Yesterday I attended onedotzero at the British Film Institute. I was invited by alphalabs.cc to their launch event, in conjunction with Microsoft and Nokia.

It was pitched as “an experiment that merges technology and the arts” - and this blend (to me at least) is intriguing. Since I discovered “creative coding” I have been fascinated by the experimental applications that fit in this space, so didn’t want to miss out on this event. I have no idea how I got an invite… I wonder if it was because I’m a Nokia dev member, or because I have previously been active on the oF forums, or maybe I was just very lucky.

Some marketing and community/dev evangelist type people talked for a bit, and they weren’t over the top with pushing WP7.5 - which was good. There was a lot of talk about the lineage of the Metro design (that I found very interesting) - Metro is a relatively unique looking interface, and has some new ideas and interactions in it - so it was nice to hear how it was conceived.

Then, they pulled up 3 teams of developers and designers to talk about the applications they had made over the last two weeks - essentially showcasing the WP7.5 development environment (ease of use, speed, different technologies etc). This was the most interesting part for me. The applications were

  1. a music app that collaboratively generated music across 4 synchronised phones - Vequencer
  2. a music video/game in which you take the form of a 3D shape and can shift gravity and change shapes to navigate through the levels - Redshift
  3. a kaleidoscope app merging video and generative art that changes based on environmental factors such as motion and sound - Kaleidobooth

The applications themselves were quite impressive, but what impressed me more is that the team that did the second app (Field, Treehouse, and Ed from the XNA Users Group) had no experience with the WP7 or XNA development environments previously, and managed to create a 3D game in 2 weeks, with excellent graphics and sound. Very impressed.

And to top it all off, I got a free phone :-) Nokia Lumia 800 - it’s actually really nice. Screen is brilliant.

AND alphalabs are running a little competition too - app development - cash prizes. Doesn’t appear to be on their website yet, but I recall it closes in early Jan-2012.

(Update 20111128 - Ed from XNA User Group was also part of team two - thanks for the update Tristan!)