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Posts Tagged ‘Gadgets’

Clearspring Officially Launches

June 13th, 2007 No comments

It’s been a long awaited announcement and it’s finally come. Clearspring has opened The Clearspring Community Platform and it’s free. We’ve had the luck of being part of the preview and it looks great. There are still things to add and some things to tweak but it’s a very polished system. For more information, check out the feature list, documentation, blog and forum.

A few things we really like about the platform. It was easy to add and configure a widget into the system. The interface was clean and stepped you through the process. Once the widget is added the power of the platform begins to show. The “Grab it!” feature allows anyone to easily get or push the widget to numerous web properties and social networks (11 at last count) or you can grab the code itself.

In addition to viral distribution of the widget through the widget, the Clearspring system can also publish the widget to existing widget galleries and start pages; currently Google Gadgets Gallery, Live Gadget Gallery , Netvibes Widget Library and Pageflakes Flake Chooser.

To wrap up all this widget goodness Clearspring tracks and reports on the widgets. This is great to actually be able to know how a widget is performing and where. There are 5 reporting categories and with more detailed reports within each.

  1. Views: how many times the widget has been viewed
  2. Unique views: how many individual users viewed the widget
  3. Locations: where the widget is placed
  4. Viral hubs: where the widget is being spread from
  5. Geographic: where in the world are users viewing from

For developers there is also the beginnings of an API. It’s currently very sparse but it’s a good sign to see Clearspring developing an API for their platform.

And… If you’re large (lucky) enough to need an enterprise-class widget platform, there is the Premium Platform to consider.

While it’s not perfect and there a few more things we would like to see, Hooman and his team have done a great job overall and we look forward to more from Clearspring.

Multi-Touch Surface Computing

May 31st, 2007 No comments

Saw this over at TechCrunch from a couple of days ago. Not widgets related but very interesting none-the-less. Microsoft announced Microsoft Surface, a multi-touch surface computing platform. Users interact with the surface computer through touch, gestures and physical objects placed on the surface.

While touch screens and surface interactions is nothing new, Microsoft has prototyped a package that looks great. See the embedded video below for the demo. The applications can be limitless; table tops, walls, counters, photos, videos, remote controls, maps, menus etc…

Microsoft is looking to release this for initial commercial partners as early as late 2007.

For additional coverage also check out ArsTechnica.

Categories: Misc Tags: , ,

Widgets to Spread to Apple TV More Easily

April 20th, 2007 No comments

IdgetsWay has an interesting post on widgets making its way to the Apple TV. Unfortunately, it all looks to be hacks and not official Apple releases. The new hack is brought to us by AwkwardTV and is currently in private beta. We do not have much information regarding the AwkwardTV Loader hack or the various widgets/plugins. There does appear to be some RSS, weather and sports widgets during the beta test. For more information, check out the IdgetsWay post or AwkwardTV.

There are multiple hacks and plugins posted on the AwkwardTV site so we are not sure which one the following statement on the site refers too, but these hacks in general are definitely not for the faint of heart. In regards to the AwkwardTV widget loader, it does appear that once the loader is installed, the installation of widgets over the net is quite simple and easy.

By the way, opening the box voids warranty. That should be clear. – AwkwardTV

Here is a video showing the ease of installing new widgets via the AwkwardTV Loader. However, it doesn’t show what’s involved in getting the Loader itself installed.

Categories: Widgets Tags: ,

Apple iPhone Competitor Better for Widgets?

April 2nd, 2007 No comments

We came across an announcement for a cell phone interface, ZenZui’s Zooming User Interface. This interface was initially developed by the Microsoft Redmond Research Lab and the independent company ZenZui is backed by Microsoft IP Ventures. Unlike the iPhone, ZenZui is not a phone but an interface that can be deployed on various mobile devices.

The zooming interface utilizes up to 36 tiles with simple one finger/thumb navigation. You get to pick what tiles or widgets that are available in your Zoomspace. According to ZenZui, there are no additional costs beyond your mobile data plan. The system will be ad supported. While we are not sure about this, we will give them the benefit of the doubt and hope the ads are relevant and non-intrusive.

What really sparked our interest is the announcement of a developer SDK that will be made available in summer of 2007 and the ability of third party developers to push their tiles/widgets into the ZenZui Ecosystem. This open system will undoubtedly make ZenZui more appealing than the iPhone if Apple and Cingular continue to keep the platform closed. Developers will have the option to either pair their tile to a non profit for charity or to participate in the ad system with revenue sharing.

Overall this looks pretty cool but it’s a ways off and we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out. Here’s a video demonstrating ZenZui’s Zooming User Interface.

Categories: Widgets Tags: , ,

Ultimate Widget Platform – The New Apple iPhone

January 9th, 2007 2 comments

The new Apple iPhone has been making the rounds on the blogosphere so we’re not going to rehash the same old details. But, we will point out some interesting things.

  1. OS X
  2. Internet
  3. Safari
  4. Widgets
  5. 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.46 inches
  6. 320 by 480 at 160 ppi

With OS X, internet connectivity and Safari you can take your content anywhere. Or, as Steve Jobs put it, “It’s the internet in your pocket.”

Apple iPhone

The screen size is perfect for widgets. Imagine the SpringWidgets Scoreboard, NHL scores anytime anywhere, or our new bLaugh Widget and have access to the 20 latest bLaugh comics. The possibilities are endless.

If you haven’t already, you should go check out Apple’s site for more information regarding the iPhone and the video of Macworld 2007 Keynote Address.

Unfortunately, the iPhone will be released on the Cingular network with the 4GB and the 8GB versions priced at $499 and $599, respectively.

Update: We just caught up on our readings and Read/WriteWeb has a great write-up on the iPhone. In particular we like the comment by Steve O’Hear and we couldn’t agree more.

“However, while the bundled apps from Apple, Google and Yahoo are a great start, I’m hoping that the iPhone (unlike the iPod) will be opened to third-party developers. With the device being driven by a version of OS X, imagine what the rest of the developer community could bring to the party. If Apple doesn’t go down this road it will leave many a Mac fan (including myself) wanting more.”

Update #2: Looks like Apple’s got some trouble on their hands. Apparently, iPhone is already trademarked and Cisco (current owners of the trademark) has filed suit against Apple just 1 day after the announcement of the iPhone at Mac World 2007. While it doesn’t take away from the phone itself, it is unfortunate. For some information from Cisco’s point of view, Mark Chandler (Cisco’s SVP and General Counsel) has posted a commentary on Apple’s infringement of Cisco’s iPhone trademark.

Update #3: It looks like we may be waiting a while for the ultimate mobile widget platform. Additional information from ReadWrite/Web suggests that it is unlikely the iPhone will be opened up for third party developers. The next question is… Will it support Flash? There are indications that it may not. These are disappointing developments indeed…

Categories: Widgets Tags: , , , ,