Archive for the ‘WPF’ Category
We built the user interface for what was, at the time, the world’s largest interactive multi-touch wall. In four weeks. With no prior multi-touch experience.
Stimulant followed up the excellent reception of the Microsoft Local Impact Map Silverlight with a special edition for Microsoft Surface. Drawing on our previous experience with many Surface projects, we saw incredible value in presenting this application in a new medium.
We knew that the Local Impact Map would be used to facilitate conversations about corporate social responsibility between Microsoft and representatives of governments and NGOs. How could we make the map even more collaborative, emotionally engaging, and aid in forming strong conversations around corporate citizenship?
The challenge called out for a fresh approach: build a version of the Local Impact Map for Microsoft Surface. In this way, Microsoft representatives can kick off interactions with their government and NGO contacts, letting them learn how to use the application simply by watching, and then let them explore the map as the conversation continues. All the while, the participants are literally able to look each other in the eye, and neither is in exclusive control of the device, the software, or the content. This makes for an emotionally equitable experience for all concerned. This human emotional connection and transparent communication style is exactly what Microsoft wanted to convey.
The Local Impact Map: Surface Edition shares the same hand-made look and feel as the online application, and is fed by the exact same data sources. We completely refactored the interface to make the Local Impact Map appropriate for Surface, and this laid the groundwork for further innovation.
We chose the metaphor of a lens as the cornerstone of our multi-user interface strategy. Onscreen lenses allow for viewing in greater detail. Each lens can even display different styles of data visualization from other lenses, rather than repainting the entire screen with a data visualization that only one user might be interested in. This also allows local content to be freely oriented towards any user. Global filters allow users to hone in on the citizenship topics that matter most to their constituents and communities. Rich support for photography and videos also helps put faces on those helped by Microsoft’s charitable efforts worldwide.
The Microsoft Local Impact Map: Surface Edition is rolled out on Surface units in Microsoft facilities all over the globe.
We are thrilled to have a custom version of the Microsoft Surface edition of Microsoft Local Impact Map premiering at the TED2010 Conference this week. Stimulant worked closely with the Kauffman Foundation and the Microsoft Corporate Citizenship team to create a special version of the Surface application that not only showcases Microsoft’s contributions around the globe, but features exciting new Microsoft content and over 200 new stories detailing the positive impact that the Kauffman Foundation is making worldwide. Kauffman worked with Stimulant to create inspiring new narratives in every US State and many countries around the world, including 1.5 gigabytes of new images and video that help tell the Kauffman story in an interactive and engaging way.
Stimulant created a unique Kauffman-specific filter on the Microsoft Local Impact Map so that any user can view the globe through a Kauffman-centric lens, which highlights countries around the world where the Kauffman Foundation is making a direct impact. Building on the previous functionality of the Microsoft Local Impact Map, this new version provides multiple users an engaging way to navigate to any country and read stories, while simultaneously flipping through images and watching videos that enhance each story.
Powerful data visualization filters enable a visual comparison of technology metrics between countries, revealing disparities and underscoring the importance of Kauffman’s work. By allowing each user to view the globe through their own individual lens and choose their area of interest, and providing multiple lenses to focus on different stories and metrics at the same time, this application remains one of Stimulant’s finest examples of how multi-user interactions on Microsoft Surface can enhance a learning experience.
The Microsoft Surface experience we developed for Kodak was revamped for CES 2010, this time focusing on Kodak’s consumer products – cameras, printers, photo frames, and more. With new content, interactivity and a refreshed skin, our Microsoft Surface application segued elegantly in with the amazing pieces developed by our partners at Obscura Digital.
Our application allows multiple visitors to place a Kodak device on Surface at the same time and spawn an interactive deck of information specific to each device. We’re thrilled to be a part of Kodak’s booth as they present one of the most forward-thinking interactive product experiences at the entire show.
OK, it’s not quite Frost/Nixon, but we did spend a good chunk of time chatting with Eric Havir from the Microsoft Surface team recently, and he’s just finished posting up a 5-video series of the talks. The topics vary from general NUI theory to the specifics of developing for Microsoft Surface, so there’s something in there for every NUIthusiast(tm). Here are links to the five posts on the official Surface blog, each links through to a YouTube video. We’d love your questions and feedback, so please hit us up in the comments.
When Microsoft showed SecondLight at PDC 2008, we were inspired to make something similar work with our current Surface unit. What you see here is a prototype that takes advantage of Surface’s object recognition capabilities to recognize the position of one or more iPhones on the Surface, and allows those phones to “see through” the images and reveal a second layer of information. The possibilities here are fairly extensive; what’s most interesting to us is the potential for adding a layer of personalized information on top of a public computing experience. This could enable users to capture content and take it with them, or to have the system display a personalized information layer (translated text/larger-print type/private messages) for individual users of a multi-user system.
iPhone was the first mobile platform we dug in to, but we’ve also got XRay working on Android-based and Windows Mobile-based phones as well. Big props to Josh for pulling this all together, and to long-time friend Arthur Mount for the use of his fantastic illustrations.
What do you get when you mash-up Microsoft Surface with a Nintendo Wii Balance Board? Tilt-sensitive surface computing! Yes, this is Surface sitting directly on the Balance Board (it supports 600 pounds, we checked). Here, Josh Santangelo (who conceptualized and coded this mashup) demonstrates a simple application that lets users create bubbles of various sizes and roll them around the table by pressing on the edges of Surface. You also get a sneak peek at the WPF/Silverlight physics engine we’ve been working on as well. Tilt sensitivity adds an extra dimension to the Surface experience and opens new doors on an already highly advanced platform.
We’re pleased to finally be able to talk openly about our ongoing long-term involvement with Microsoft Surface. Members of our team have been developing Surface experiences since August 2006, so it should come as no surprise that we’re actively applying our years of multi-touch and direct interaction experience to this exciting platform.
Stimulant is also currently working hand-in-hand with the Microsoft Surface User Experience team, helping them to explore best practices for Surface interaction design. They are an extremely passionate and talented team, and from everything we’ve seen, we truly feel that there is a bright future ahead for application development on Microsoft Surface. We’re thrilled to be one of the few early adopters pushing the platform to new heights.
Watch this space for sneak previews of projects in the works!
Creating interaction beyond the computer.
From desktop to device, multi-touch to gestural and portable to permanent, Stimulant crafts magical experiences for computers that don't look like computers.