Yesterday in Barcelona, Simon Sage posted a video (watch it above) showing off a very slick demo of a multi-user application called Confetti. Involving local file sharing over PlayBook devices and a webcam-driven spatial referencing system that ties in with Cascades, it creates a social group sharing experience we've never seen before on any platform.
Built by the The Astonishing Tribe (TAT) team, or RIM Sweden as they're now referred to, it scores full points on cool factor. Even my wife (the total non-geek) thought the Barcelona demo from RIM was outstanding. Nice.
But reading through reader comments, two good questions arise. First, is it practical? Will companies actually care about this kind of service? Second, why does RIM keep teasing us with these amazing Cascades-driven interfaces without releasing any of them to App World?
Let's tackle these two questions briefly. I'm interested in what readers think, so please chime in with comments below.
So is it practical? I'm not sure it's practical in the exact form RIM demonstrated the concept, but what if the spacial referencing was gone and this became a BlackBerry multi-user meeting system? If Skype isn't going to bring their app to the PlayBook maybe RIM can use its infrastructure and do something better.
Give me a way to hold a meeting with friends over Wi-Fi and file share by dragging and dropping files onto icons that represent the people. So what if the icons don't move around. I could care less. But I would LOVE to be able to share my screen or share a file over Wi-Fi on a PlayBook.
Point is, I think people might be getting too caught up in the exact implementation that RIM demonstrated. If we think beyond the demo, what they're showing off is really nothing more than a very slick user interface. That's what TAT is known for. To be fair, it was noted that this was more of a proof of concept and a demonstration that shows off the power of the PlayBook platform. But people know what they see and judge what they see.
Next up - is RIM taking too long to get this stuff to market? It seems like TAT keeps teasing us, but let's not forget that the latest SDK (2.0) was only released to the general public yesterday. And Cascades isn't yet available to the public.
I'll happily admit that I'm really impressed with what TAT has been showing off. And I think they need to get it out in the marketplace pronto, especially now that SDK 2.0 is generally released. I want to see popular app vendors like Blaq (leading Twitter app for PlayBook) implement it. I want to to see it baked into the native apps on PlayBook.
RIM is catching up on consumer features and showing some darn good innovation on user interface. But they do need to launch stuff. They need to stop teasing us without delivery.
Since PlayBook 2.0 launched last week I've been addicted to the device. It's clearly gaining more attention too, at least based on the questions I've fielded from family and friends who I never thought would look to the PlayBook.
Get this stuff out the door, RIM. Customers are waiting!