BlackBerry Sweden's tilt UI demo lets you glance at information in table reflection

By Simon Sage on 2 Oct 2013 10:22 pm EDT

This is by far the coolest thing that I saw at BlackBerry Jam Asia 2013. Our good friend Gary Klassen, inventor of BBM, had a session on Tilt UI, a part of Cascades that's available now and allows developers to use device orientation to show useful information. This hearkens back to something the old TAT crew made years ago called Horizon

In one demo app, users can keep tabs on meeting minutes and ensure that attendees don't spend too long talking on individual topics. Tapping and dragging the timer circle can either shorten the amount of time, extend it, or end the topic. The magic happens when you tilt the device up from the table. The more you tilt it, the more information about upcoming meeting items is displayed.  

The other app is a way of sneaking a peak at the latest sports scores when your device is face-down on a table. The latest information is displayed as a flip image on the screen so you can see the scores the right way around in the reflection on the table as you start to lift your phone up. More and more match info shows up as you increase the tilt, until you fully flip your phone around  and view the full text of what's going on. If there was a new update when you first tilted the phone up, it would glow blue, but if nothing was new, it wouldn't glow at all. This could be a very handy way to look like you're being conscientious of others that you're socializing with while still stealing a few glances at your phone.

The nice thing about all of this is that it's current available through Cascades already. The sample code Gary talks about should be available on Github soon. Between this, the rocking chair game, and all of the other cool stuff BlackBerry Sweden churns out, it's obvious that TAT was among BlackBerry's smartest investments, and will be an invaluable resource in the months ahead. Anybody interested in the nitty-gritty can find Gary's presentation slides over here.

Developers, have you played around with tilt in these kinds of ways before? The rest of y'all, would you like to see these two demos available as public apps rather than tech demos? Scrapbook was made available on the PlayBook, and I imagine at least a few folks would get use out of these apps. 

Reader comments

BlackBerry Sweden's tilt UI demo lets you glance at information in table reflection


Just wait for 10.3! TAT has to be working on something now that the base work of building the framework for BB10 is done. :)

You're more delusional than your psychiatrist deems safe. BlackBerry will never allow TAT to bring anything to the table. These teasers have been on-going since their acquisition.

We need more of this! Go TAT go! This is what is going to differentiate BlackBerry from the rest. So glad Gary is there with TAT, he is a great guy, so passionate about BB :)

- Developer of 'Web Design Cheat Sheet' for BB10 (Posted via CB10)

And the contacts app for the PlayBook., and the weather app for the sure there are others.

Supposedly they are working on a beefed up version of this application for 10.3 or whatever they call the next major update after 10.2

My goodness that was cool. Yet, I have not seen any of this anywhere. Is it hiding somewhere deep in the OS? Maybe if you hit a special button all the magical stuff will appear.

Aside from the fact that this time it's already available for devs, it's not just a video demonstration showing what's possible, devs can do this right now.

Yep since BlackBerry announced the Z10 is obsolete in terms of the newest features cming with the Z30 via 10.2 there is no reason to think the features highlighted in these latest demo apps will ever be available for Z10 and dare I say the Q10 and Q5. Why does BlackBerry feel the need to release 4 new devices every year when they can barely move a tiny percentage of the original flagship BlackBerry 10 smartphones? This company is seriously fck'd in the head.

Wrong. These features are software related, not hardware. The z10 and q10 will be getting OS updates for a long time still.

Posted via CB10

They never said they would release 4 new devices a year. Just that their portfolio is being reduced to 4(2 "entry" and 2 "high end"). What this could mean is next year we see 4 new phones. It could also mean next year we see 2 new high end phones with the current high end being reclassed to entry level and the pattern continuing that way. It could also mean they alternate, new high end one year and new entry level the next.

Morale of the story: they never said their release strategy, just 4 devices in their portfolio

It only works if the table is glass. But still cool.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on #IChooseBlackBerry10

You could easily have a case that has a reflective surface on the inside. It would allow you to do this anywhere.

Posted via CB10

"Gary whatever you're looking at you can share with everyone else at the table, right?"

I can hear it now in meeting rooms throughout corporations.

I've seen so much cool stuff from TAT over the years on here, yet nothing that resembles any of their concepts is ever present in the devices.

This is cool too, but I won't be getting my hopes up.

And all of the concept cars that you see at the auto show are available for purchase shortly afterwards too right??!

You are seeing "concepts" not final products....

#GetWithBB10 Channel @ C000D7228

I was just about to say that.. I never see the Audi RSQ on the streets but people don't get mad at Audi for that..

I think TAT is not still given the freedom to use their ideas to think something different,sometimes bb behaves like a government company not moving forward.

Along with speeding up contacts app, making your changes overwrite social media if social media info is changed have a prompt asking me to overwrite my data.

Also I'd like a drop down from top for quick settings iphone just implemented it. Also fix the lag in loading chats I shouldn't have to delete msgs to speed up performance. Load fewer msgs if necessary. Fix BlackBerry Protect. Speed up phone app. And fix the hub should load on start of phone along with all contacts.

Lastly, this.

I think after all those nuances I'll be happy not that I'm already not but those would make me extra happy.

Posted via CB10

Sorry but BlackBerry 10.0 should have been all about TAT. BlackBerry cooked their own goose and cannibalized the carcass at the dining table.

I see Cinnamon Toasts as being built with this. They need to bring that idea back and then let TAT do their thing. Seriously

Posted via CB10

I want that collaboration app that was demoed on PB to come to bb10. I want the presentation on the fly setup they had, I want cinnamon Toasts, this and anything else they can think of. Stop having them show off and use that stuff!

Posted via CB10

Agreeing with the masses - TAY demos the coolest stuff but outside of the scrapbook app for Playbook, we don't see any of it come to the actual devices. I would still love to see the contacts application with the 3D viewing they demoed. Speaking I'd the scrapbook app, why isn't it available for BB10?

Posted via CB10

No no no. BlackBerry knows that you don't really want these gadgets and gizmo features. What you really want is a little r and a little d. I mean that is the absolute best feature.

Sometimes, late at night, I'll dim the lights and put my browser in reader mode, just to see my Squircle. Don't judge me

Another reason to devote company resources to only 4 devices, keep focusing on the ecosystem to begin attracting the right kind of attention again.

Sent from my BlackBerry Z10


Exactly what we'd say if this was an upcoming Droid feature.

-STV on Z10STL100-3/ TMO US

The "gimmicks" are what BB10 needs. No one came to BB10 in the first place because it was too plain jane. Look at Apple they release 2-3 gimmicks per year and people are drooling over it.

Blackberry just needs to make sure that you can turn these gimmicks on and off for enterprise/business use and/or give the IT Dept. of a company the right to turn them on and off one by one.

But for every gimmick they should either be able to spin it to be professional or add a new feature for business/enterprise to keep both worlds happy.

The hard thing for me is that this was demonstrated more than a year ago on the internal website that TAT had. There were so many cool things like 2D to 3D maps. I heard ios was to get this first (maybe they already do as I have not used ios 7).
I too agree that the true TAT needs to be unleashed. Yes I know they really created what we see in BlackBerry 10 from a UI point of view. It is slick but it seems so restricted compared to what I have seen them do. This is the stuff that I think BlackBerry needed to compete in the consumer space. I won't reveal anything else I saw but I think even Galaxy S4 users would be impressed. Unleash the potential TAT and allow BlackBerry 10 to keep moving!

Posted via CB10

Really cool stuff for sure, but i wanna see BlackBerry implementing these things into the os itself rather then waiting for devs to make use of it.

Posted via CB10

Exactly. BlackBerry can't wait on devs. Are they even still here? BB needs to bake these features into their OS and apps themselves.

Guy, you all have to realize that this type of stuff has been available to developers who use Cascades since the beginning. The tools are there, developers just have to have some imagination to use them. TAT is just a company who has imaginative developers. There is nothing stopping Cascades developer from doing what TAT did .

+100 developers aren't taking advantage of it, BlackBerry is giving them these abilities, but no one creative enough yet

Posted via CB10

Well you can take the horse to water but you can't make it drink. So of developers haven't found a profitable use case for these concepts, BlackBerry needs to bring them to the platform itself.

Let's face it, lots of the stuff that is marketed successfully is smoke and mirrors."Retina" display, several of the recent Samsung features - they sell devices but add very practical features. Bells and whistles sell devices; TAT is great at this type of work. Time to pull out the stops and get the eye candy on BlackBerry 10.

Posted via CB10

I do get that completely. But i also think that TAT should make an app of their own for BB World or bake it into the OS so developers can get ideas from seeing it over and over first hand. Like cinnamon toast should have been on BB10 showing this TILT thing and tell the developers this is available to them and maybe one can be imaginative enough to be like: "Hey, this is actually pretty cool and useful for this and that maybe I should give it a try in my new app."

I'm interested in seeing how they will implement this on the the keyboard BB 10 phones. I don't see how these can be done effectively without the operating system allowing the screen orientation to go landscape.

This is what we need on BB10!! More TAT implementation on BB10! People would love to buy BlackBerry again I'd they had all these cool unique selling points!

Posted via CB10

This reminds me of a patent filing BlackBerry made for a phone feature where you could unlock your phone depending on how tilted your device was.

If you got a notification it would show some info and if it wasn't urgent you could just Kay it down again but if it is you'd just pick it up and it would be unlocked. Or so I remember, correct me if I'm wrong...

Posted via CB10

Everyone is missing the purpose, any developer can do this thanks to TAT. So we can see it used in other ideas instead of waiting for TAT. It would be great to see NFL mobile put this to use or other apps pick this up

Posted via CB10

What he just showed off was cinnamon toast notifications and how they would work by lifting the phone to certain degrees.

SMH!! Why O Why can't this cool feature be unleashed now? Just showing it off is not going to help BlackBerry at this crucial moment; IMPLEMENTING these kind of cool features will have a lot of positive impact on the consumer or your prosumer, believe it or not.

This is great. I agree that this kind of stuff would make BB10 stand out if it was implemented in the os out of the box.

I'm going to bet that the competition will do something like this and it will be coolest thing ever invented.

Posted via CB10

Very, very cool indeed. Let's see BlackBerry distinguish itself by its coolness, its originality, its creativity. Let's see BlackBerry push the limits with creative though non-gimmicky stuff like this. Let's see BlackBerry become "in" again by the sheer force of its capacity and resolve to push the boundaries.

They must know how awesome this is an incorporate it into native apps first and foremost in upcoming OS updates. #KeepmovingTAT.

Posted via CB10

Didn't TAT create Cascades? Maybe the reason why they're not building things into Blackberry devices as much as people would like is because they're busy engineering / supporting / updating the tools that make these demoes possible such as Cascades?

The sad thing is we are unlikely to see these ideas in form of OS feature or app at all. Meanwhile,the exact same ideas will surface on other platforms.

Posted via CB10

I wish developers used all these capabilities...I wish bb itself used these capabilities in its apps. For example...I remember a contact app demonstrated a couple years ago using that tilt and 3d. I realize they're tryi.g to encourage the full use of the toolkit available. Why not use in your own apps though to set an example)

Posted via CB10

If/When BlackBerry goes private, I think they will release more TAT inspired things. Shareholders and the market is what has been holding them back.. It's difficult for large companies to go too outside of the norm due to shareholders being their main concern.

I mean look at Apple, they have been doing minor and minor and minor improvements throughout the many many years. Being a public company holds you back. BlackBerry go private and then go crazy with TAT PLEASE.

Great observation. Apple hasn't really "innovated". BlackBerry has made larger leaps, and I am excited to see them go private. This feature alone is more innovation than anything I've seen from Apple.

Posted via CB10

FINALLY SOMETHING COOL! I liked that it has never been brought up in the past, because then we would here "coming soon" and never get it. Good job BlackBerry! I can't wait to see what devs do with it.

Posted via CB10

Let TAT do 10.3... please, all these little features can add so much more depth to the platform

Posted via CB10

The last demo would be perfect for a multiplayer poker game at a table among friends! That's the first thing I thought of when I saw it because it reminded me of picking up cards.

TAT sounds cool, can't wait to try it out....hmm (I wonder if it will look better on my arm or on my leg) LOL!!!

Posted via my fabulous z10

yadda yadda yadda. this is the stuff that BB10 should have launched with and its absence is the exact reason why it's not catching anyone's eye and generating ridiculous sales like it has the potential to

It's not a demo it's available to devs now!!! Do you guys even read the article?

Sent from my BlackBerry

It's all about "look what we can do and let's tease you guys some more". I will continue to support BlackBerry and would love for the company to rise from the ashes n stand tall again. I would love to show off these kinds of tricks n tools to my friends n family. But sadly we only get demos and false hopes. Can BlackBerry make a comback? To do this, they need to pull all of the tricks that they've been cooking and serve it to the mass!!!

Posted via CB10

I'd like to see TAT release some apps instead of tech demo. Better that way at least blackberry would have some nice cool apps out there instead of hoping and waiting for a developer to create something cool. Be more proactive blackberry team and take developing new features on your own hands! Stop relying on others to develop cool features. Team blackberry have the tools, use them, just like the scrapbook app for PlayBook.

Posted via CB10

why can't they (BB) integrate it into the OS? why let the Devs have this for their apps while the core OS does not use it in any way? make it awailable for the Hub and the home screen... even the locked screen... integrate all new things into the OS and use the full potential of the OS and the hardware. why wait for the devs to use or make use of an option or functionality, why would devs use it when BB themselves are not using it in the OS and core apps?
Let TAT loose, let them run wild and free...

They really have to stop this. You don't reveal half baked products, it is a very bad thing for the image of the brand because people keep saying that you are late. When have you ever seen any other smartphone maker do this ?
You finish it and come out "hey, btw, that's what we made...and you can download it/ buy it today !" that is why iPhone's sells so much ! People don't know what to expect and when they get the full version in front of them, it looks like it's coming out of nowhere, just BANM! It's there!

Posted via CB10

Don't see what's all so special about this. Idk seems kinda useless to me and I don't think I would use it much, but it looks like it could have some potential I guess.

Poor us. They just keep demoing these cool stuff but not really releasing it for users.

Posted via CB10

Come on man ... how can these guys create such cool concept apps and magical demos but totally fail to deliver essential productive apps! For example, only on the latest BB10 version 10.1 MR they included an "easy way" to navigate to next and previous messages on the Hub. That's just lame!
My guess is that the cool creative ideas are created really low on the hierarchy chain - developers - but they never get approved on higher levels - managers.

Until I see any of this in the actual OS, I will not get too excited. BlackBerry should use this themselves, rather than wait for a developer to use these wonderful items. Remember when Scrapbook was shown off? People thought that was actually coming to the PlayBook. However, it really was more of a demo app than anything else. Thankfully, it was later released. Yet, it should have been on the PlayBook initially. The media player and viewer shown off at one point are still out there in space somewhere. Why can't all these goodies be included? Wouldn't it be better to show off all these working concepts already on the device? I think so.

This isn't 'new' I saw this @ BlackBerry last year internally, concepts like this were plenty, it's sad the company killed TAT. Needless to say, after the layoffs of me and others, I'm on Android now.

I appreciate that they put this on GitHub. I hope that developers make use of these samples.

Neat! Hopefully iOS or Android will have this when I get my new phone in a couple of years from now.

My ZeeTen strikes again! (Z10STL100-3/

It's stuff like this that wows the consumer crowd. Fire current management, and implement these types of UI's to BB10.2.1 damnit!


Looks very similar to what my friend on iOS was showing me from parallax TODAY ON ALL their devices.

I love my Z10