Thursday, August 7th, 2008

AIRing out your Lingerie; Running applications for the articles

Category: Adobe

I was wary about posting on this one, as it does involve scantily clad women. If that offends you, skip now, and please accept my apologies, and I know that this probably fits better for a Friday Fun posting, but let’s get to it:

Ok, so when I was on the Adobe AIR tour, some folks showed me an AIR app that The Sun, a gossip rag / newspaper in the UK was working on. Sure you can get the news from the website, and through RSS feeds, but how about a branded experience? (as Ryan Stewart would say!)

This newspaper puts aside the third page to introduce you to a “lovely lass” each day. This is part of their brand, and probably is a reason why it is the most read newspaper in the world (a little sad but true?).

Thus, they decided to try writing an article alert application with a twist… that being one of the lasses would walk onto your screen when there is news and show it to you. I had to admit, that I didn’t think that Ajax would be able to do that.

The question is, do these brand experiences take off? Is this a gimmick? Do people really just liking their RSS feeds with as little disruption as possible…. or do they cling to certain brands and enjoy that extra touch. I somehow doubt that anyone would want a “Desktop Ajaxian” where Ben and I come out to give you the news ;)

One little annoyance that I saw after running it, is the dock icon coming and going as they poll the AIR app. I hope that is fixed in the next version of AIR (Mike Chambers just put out a call for requests).

Posted by Dion Almaer at 11:32 am

3.6 rating from 18 votes


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It’s not so much AJAX doing it as it is the AIR app downloading the female animation and displaying it using transparency effects native to Flash. :)

Comment by MichaelThompson — August 7, 2008

I certainly hope so! We’ve just completed an AIR application for a client here in the UK that is a way for users to connect with the brand on the desktop. It’s out first jump into this space and it’s been fantastic, the possibilities for growth I think outstrip what you can just do on the web.

It was supposed to go live today, but as usual the client have pushed it back until the beginning of next week – however we are looking for people to download the client to test it, so please feel free to visit and go about half way down the page once it’s loaded to verify your age and install the app (users have to be over 18 because of the gambling element).

Interestingly, the MySpace profile this is on – I believe we are also the first people to get full control over the content area of our page – I developed it using jQuery to load a string of JSON which contains the HTML for the page, this is generated remotely and appended to the page.

Comment by digitalspaghetti — August 7, 2008

I’ve started to use AIR for all my in-house tools. It’s perfect for that.

Comment by Nosredna — August 7, 2008

Nobody seems to have noticed but you’ve been able to do pretty much all of this (in particular cutout interactive apps with no chrome that can talk http that pop-up outside the browser) for over 10 years using QuickTime, which happens to have rather more market penetration than AIR. Despite that, and the many times I’ve shown this kind to thing to impressed clients, it hasn’t taken off, so I wouldn’t hold my breath for AIR to do any better. AIR may have better tools now, but the basic presentation and interactivity premise is identical.

Comment by Synchro — August 8, 2008

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