As a 'creative exercise' our company were cool enough to let my team spend a week in a house in Brighton to work on various different projects outside of our usual focus. My emotions leading up to it were mostly of excitement, but with a definite hint of anxiety being without my routine for 7 days.
The list of things we look at throughout the week is relatively large when considering the time we had:
(Bare in mind I work a a publishing company)
- Second Screen experiences
- Smart TV apps
- Apps outside of Newsstand
- Sprite Kit
A few of those were more interesting than others. Worth mentioning is the fact that that Sprite Kit really is just Apple's take on the cocos 2d framework. As somebody who used to do games development and has played with cocos 2d in the past, this almost certainly isn't as much Apple copying that framework as it is just a good approach to developing something like this.
My favourite out of all these was iBeacons, and before you disregard me as another guy just exclaiming the virtues of iBeacons as the disregarded diamond. Basically an iBeacon is just a smart bluetooth device which has a unique identifier. An app can subscribe to the identifier through Core Location, and when it comes within range the app will receive messages.
The iDevice and iBeacon's communication is smart enough to determine range and strength as well as other things. With this sort of information a ridiculous amount of possibilities are opened up. You could be walking around a shop and be given information about the item you are standing in front of. You could elk pas a restaurant, and if you ever some sort of app which gives you information about places to eat it has the ability to pop up the menu and could even tell you how many tables are free.
There's already an app out there that will tell you how close your luggage is when you are waiting for it at the airport. I can only imagine what else will be done with this technology, and I for one am very much hoping that people take advantage of it's potential.
I suppose on thing to take from this brief post is that we should all take some time here and there to do things that we don't usually get the time to do. I't so easy to think that you'll do something later and become resigned to the fact that later is never today. Make later today and take some time to look at that thing you've been thinking about, you could be the guy who makes the coolest new iBeacons app.