TAT = Teasers Are Torture. RIM's Teasers Show Off Innovative Thinking on PlayBook, But When Will We See Product?

By Chris Umiastowski on 29 Feb 2012 04:04 pm EST

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!

Reader comments

TAT = Teasers Are Torture. RIM's Teasers Show Off Innovative Thinking on PlayBook, But When Will We See Product?


I'm taking full credit for the TAT = Teasers Are Torture line. :)

Good post. It's hard to see a demo that's showing off a capability and not judge it as something that's going to eventually come to market. Definitely was an amazing demo.

I think we'll see the NDK with Cascades hit at BlackBerry World. That's coming up early May. If BB10 phones are to hit later in the year, that'll give 4/5/6 months for devs to get the full NDK and do apps leading up to BlackBerry 10.

PS. I love TAT. And torture isn't always a bad thing :p

In my opinion is not a big deal if they at least relies something to beta so we can test and share our opinion about The Astonishing App they are developing or demoing atm.
I hope sooner or later they will give us the opportunity to test, or you never know maybe buy them from app world....


Wow - pretty impressive - I think I might just go out and find a job - this motivates me to want to use the Playbook on a professional level...

first of all developers should know what Cascades is capable of before they getting started with it anyways, that is why RIM is show casing Tat demos at all their developer conferences....as far the delay goes..Tat has to decide on the UI paradigm of BB10, design and implement it and at same time ensure there are no loose strings..and as the saying goes good software takes time to built and after all it is not like baking cookies where we set the time and it is done..

I totally can respect. Your comment. These things don't happen overnight and like you said its not like you set a timer and poof its done. Let me use your analogy. Imagine going. To your favorite bakery and on display is a new cake flavor. You ask if you could buy a piece and they say "no that cake isn't for sale. It is only to show off what we are only showing what this bakery is capable of" Now as a non app developer this is what we consumers consider annoying. So they show up and start show off something EVERYBODY wants its supposed to be for developers to know what the playbook can do. Two questions: based on the quality of a lot of these apps would it be safe to say that not too many of them are out to invet in a super app and if this is to show what the playbook is capable of doing but not going to be released then why not show it all at devcon where this excuse makes sense?

I'm not mad at you but understand that as a non developer waiting with my wallet open for Blackberry to reach into it gets annoying when you start feeling like the one that is begging when you're actually the one spending.

To cintinue with your annalogy. If enouph people go to the store & ask to buy that cake they do make it.....Look at the Scrapbook app. That was a proof of concept. It was so popular that they ended up making it for everyone to DL for free.

Personal opinion, if RIM WANTS to succeed it needs to put these TAT apps out for the wow factor. Apple did it with that music app and the video editing app. I'd kill for a TAT video editing app for playbook.

We should see video editing on the PlayBook soon, RIM acquired that JayCut online video editing suite. I agree that TAT should be shooting out seriously sic apps, they are very capable of doing so and I hope to be further "Astonished" in the near future(early May perhaps):)

Getting a video editing app out can't happen soon enough. But I think that's really how RIM can battle Apple and android. Getting those key category apps out, whether it's produced in house or not. I mean, with all the talent in TAT, They really need to package and put it out there. Even if it's just a demo. Everyday I'm sharing my love of the playbook with one person or another and these kinds of capabilities usually seal the deal for people.

I'm patiently waiting. I'm pretty sure that after the iPad3 is unveiled, TAT will be pushed to create a better UI for PB 2.0 / BB10

what if Apple only releases a IPad 2S? basically an ipad 2 with better screen/more processing power and ios5?

"I'm pretty sure that after the iPad3 is unveiled, TAT will be pushed to create a better UI for PB 2.0 / BB10"

I doubt it. Apple has only made small incremental improevements to their iOS UI since the iPod-touch first came out.

At the very least they could post a date. Having to randomly guess when any of this is going to be available isn't useful to developers at all. They have been publicly demoing Cascades for around half a year now, it is about time that they ship something...

This is typical of rim, and why the market shares are crashing. Take the playbook for example... They show it off, talk about it, but we as consumers have to wait many many months before we get our hands on it. And when we finally did get a hold of it, it was an incomplete product, which yes, with the 2.0 upgrade definately helped, but that rubbed alot of people the wrong way.

We see videos of tat showing off all its cool glory, but again... when will we, the consumers see any of this..... probably months and months after we have lost all interest. Rim really need to start (i hate saying this) taking after apple. They officially announce a product, and within 2-3 months its in the consumers hands.

We heard officially about bb10 in what... January??? But there first phone in the bb10 family is scheduled to be out in q3, so septemberish........ Why bother showing off tat, or talking about a product that we wont actually get to play with for 5+ months...... Just boggles my mind... Sorry, rant over.

I agree. RIM needs to either shut up or surprise to the upside.

The fall is too far off to serve anyone, especially shareholders and consumers.

At the very least RIM should have prepared something from tat to show off and deliver for the show. Another missed opportunity.

Although the Tat demo was surprising and we'll received it lacked that "OMG there on a roll" feeling.(in terms of delivering)

The way they should present there products going forward was well represented by the tat/rim team. Just show it and that's it, don't tell people how amazing it is. Let the audience decide for themselves. In this case it was amazing

Give them something to talk about and the word will get around, but please deliver.

I agree that releasing this(the app in the video above) would be a bit silly. But what about their weather app? Their contacts app? Their pictures app? All of those could be released to the public no problem. It isn't just the videos we've seen from them at MWC showing apps off, they have been teasing us for a long time now.

I definitely agree that people may focus on the exact implementation in the demo, but the ideas and interface are top quality.

Although, the general public doesn't have faith in RIM at the moment, and little things like these could definitely win some people over, or at least alter the general perception of the company. Give us an app or two (besides scrapbook - which I think could use an update with folders for example)!

Can't wait to have such stuff on my PlayBook


BB 9780 white os 6

BB Playbook 32gb os

it's vaporware and should be completely ignored. if it isn't, prove it and let me have it. i don't care what the playbook CAN do, i need to know what it does NOW.

It cant be vaporware as its in the video. Vaporware is stuff announce and never seen. This I saw just now LOL.

TAT has been demoing videos of some of the coolest concepts in youtube for quite some time.

Also, I believe they have already a TAT live wallpaper app available for android devices.

Come on TAT give us some of your astonishing apps already....

Stop teasing and start pleasing...

I have strong doubts that a lot of these demos will materialize in RIM products. Their biggest problem is execution. Thorsten had a couple of years as COO time to improve their track record. But looking back the last couple of years proves the opposite.

Were is the media app they showcased so long ago? How about working on getting that on the tablet instead of working on concept applications that probably will never see the light of day. RIM needs to put more resources om getting stuff out the door and onto devices. That media app they showed would drop jaws on a demo model and people would be sold before they even picked the tablet up.

I'm teased, tortured and turned off. I would have been wowed had Thorsten brought to market and investors a plan of action that left our jaws dropped. In the mean time investors and customers are left twiddling their thumbs.

Amazingly cool stuff, and the group from TAT are geniuses...but both groups need to start underpromising and over-delivering!!!

"Get this stuff out the door, RIM. Customers are waiting!" Can we add this to every item, every post on Crackberry? I am very impressed. Sure, its pretty to look at but its so damn simple that I could actually see it working for the types of people who sometime sit in conference rooms. You have your tech savvy posers like me, then you have your hardcore codespeakers who revel in the imponderable inaccessibility of platforms, devices, programs, and then you have the rest of us who like technology, not for its own sake, but for what it can do for us. Of course there will be security concerns with this kind of easy sharing, but in an internal meeting there is no such genuine concern, provide companies take reasonable care. But this kind of instinctive wedding of gesture and function, is precisely the way devices make the leap to the wide world. Pared down controls that make good use of the doing away with the abstractions of pull-down menus, keyboard shortcut, lame-cute commands. . . .
Get this stuff out the door, RIM. Customers are waiting!
Get this stuff out the door, RIM. Customers are waiting!
Get this stuff out the door, RIM. Customers are waiting!

TAT uses simple ideas and implements fantastic UI, its a shame and almost a disservice to tease their loyal fan base who clutch at any sign of something fresh and new. I've been noticing they have prefaced all their videos with the "oh this is a conceptual design that shows what can be possible with the platform" and have come to the conclusion that their more of a conceptual consultant firm rather than a development firm.

All I'm clutching to now, in terms of innovation, is the upcoming Tonium Pacemaker app news broken by Engadget. That seems like the first sign of a "Balsillie leap frog" and i applaud rim for identifying the the original Pacemaker as a niche product with fantastic reviews and mobile potential.

I think, because of all the excitement surrounding the upcoming relases of these great new super-apps, BB10 etc., everyone is on the edge of their seat. Yes, these teasers are so torturous. It's like being at work, looking at the clock to see you have an hour left to go, looking at it again and realizing only five minutes have gone by. Yes, I love seeing what RIM has cooking up, but removing the "clock" from the equation will simmer some of those "so, when are we gonna actually get to play with this stuff?" feelings. But, on the other hand, not everyone is as tuned in to the goings-on at RIM as we are here in crackberry world. You have to remember, there are still people out there that don't even know this stuff exists, and when it finally hits, pow! Minds will be blown. So, I guess if you're feeling a bit on edge about the pace in which RIM is going, maybe it's time to take a step back, stop looking at the clock, and let RIM do their thing. Five months might seem like a lifetime here, but, to the rest of the world, what's five months?

That is the problem "people out there don't even know this stuff exists"... They are happy with their ipads.
This sort of stuff should already be out and about. The later the worse.
Five months are an era in technology. In five month's time quad core phones will be all over, hopefully RIM will be there.

These leaks have become a very bad habit of BlackBerry...

Competitors are actually incorporating (aka copying) their versions of this into their products coming into the marketplace now, while BlackBerry is typically 6-12 months *late* in actually introducing these "ideas" into their products.

This is what's hurting BlackBerry, along with lost goodwill and lost of respect from BlackBerry users...

Let's hope RIM gets out the next generation of products out quickly and catch that "Back To School Sale" at end of summer, otherwise that would mean more lost sales...

We need to see results in marketplace, not Ideas/Concepts leaks that let competitors copy RIM's ideas into their products (and competitors release their products faster than BlackBerry into marketplace LOL)...

They couldn't possibly support this app. Always supposing you want to go to the trouble of setting up the cameras to be able to track devices. It just isn't worth it to RIM.

It's just a neat demo of the technology convergence that we're likely to see in the next phase of development. They're trying to inspire others to implement the technologies.

And what exactly do people want RIM to launch that they can't get already? How is the BlackBerry in your pocket deficient to iPhone or Android?

And if you do quote a deficiency, how important a gap in function is it?

My suspicion is that the negativity toward RIM has more to do with clever PR management by certain other manufacturers and their media backers.

I think you're right, and it is mainly in the US market where Microsoft is struggling (outside the desktop/server) and Apple wants a near monopoly. Unfortunately, from Presidential campaigns down, the USA is dominated by the PR phrase "perception is everything".
The proof of this is that many Americans continued to buy their badly designed and built local cars and light trucks right up till the oil price spiked, based on massive PR and advertising from the Big Three.
Apple, of course, in no way resembles the US car industry (which is why it has a cash pile rather than a debt), but its products cost a lot more than things from other manufacturers that actually get the job done.
In 2012, it looks as if RIM is regarding the USA as in caretaker mode while it rolls out around the rest of the world. In the rest of the world, tablets and smartphones are something that can only be afforded by business people: RIM's target market. (There are exceptions like the UK where BBs are affordable messaging systems for the young because the contracts are much cheaper than for iPhones.) It makes a lot of sense, not only to encourage developers to build business applications, but to suggest to them ways to make them work.
By the time businesses in Turkey, Indonesia, Brazil and so on hear about these ideas, they are likely to be real products. It makes more sense for RIM to talk over the heads of Western consumers direct to developers.

The "A" in TAT is prophetic and aptly named. I think many people will be "astonished" if anything that has been demoed by TAT over the past year sees the light of day. I guess it depends on whether you believe that RIM can actually deliver and execute, as a poster said above, on what they are showing. Or will this be another example, in a long line of examples, of RIM promising much; always talking about the future; and failing to deliver anything now?

What's funny that is that this pattern holds true for much of RIM's products. For example, whatever happened to the OEM BB keyboard? So far, last year came and went; Devcon's America and Europe came and went; CES; came and went; and the launch of 2.0 came and went. And we are all still waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting.

This is not a complaint against RIM, although it sounds like it, but if RIM truly wants to be a "first-choice" company, i.e., users actively make a choice of choosing a RIM product, then they have to be able to follow through on their execution. Future potential is well and good, but it sure would be nice if the Present wasn't seemingly forgotten.

One can only hope that persons of significance at RIM are reading this thread....hint...hint....Thorsten....and realize that customers and investors want product not coming soon concepts. When you string quarter to quarter to quarter of the same old thing from RIM customers and investors are or have moved on.

I feel like the only thing that can save rim is a partnership with apple. Just hear this out. By partnering it would quell all the critics. Give rim the time they need to release what they need to compete and relieve the burden of disgruntled shareholders. Also apple would gain a invaluable partner for the enterprise side of things and bring harmony to the two companies. Apple has a ton of cash but, may be a little short on ideas. By ideas I mean places to invest that cash to satisfy shareholders and create value for them. With rims beaten down share price it would be a sure bet for Apple shareholders. Everyone would love rim again and appreciate apple for its foresight into the future.

Interesting. Typically BlackBerry users respond to new products with "I see the value" or "that should help me do things faster", followed by "I'll probably download/upgrade next month. Now, I'm hearing more of "Holly Cow! I want that right now. Hurry! Hurry! I can't live without it, even though I never even knew it existed until you showed it to me".

This is good. BlackBerry is reaching beyond our rational liner thinking minds and acutally making it to our random hearts.

Very good RIM.

Now, for the execution...

I don't understand why they don't just release it already. After all, it's alreading working nicely on their PBs. Why wait (and thus other o/s to copy it)?

"..why does RIM keep teasing us with these amazing Cascades-driven interfaces without releasing any of them to App World.."

Marketing, marketing, mar....? ya hear RIM constantly being compared to the other players one big-time vs RIM

Quite often has me thinking of, CFL vs nfl !

Is (RIM) upper management really worth what they're being paid when they (seemingly) constantly let opportunities slip thru their fingers. Appendages usually sticky when raises/bonuses and perks are being rolled out, but when it actually comes to supplying the front lines funds to implement new 'attractive' product and subsidiaries (apps) into the real world marketplace, they get all slippery and elusive. imho !

While what TAT has demoed would be amazing, I still think the biggest problem RIM has is with the US carriers. I work at a high school where the kids and their parents are equally clueless as to why their Droid or Iphone is better than my Torch, but they spout that all day. If they have no idea what their phone or mine can do, where do they get that idea? It must be from the sales person who sold them the phone they have. As someone posted earlier, there is little difference in capability from one OS to another, just a perceived difference. I think teens and their parents probably factor as two significant demographics in the phone market. RIM needs to get carriers to push their phones the way the carriers push the competition. Of course some marketing would help too. Whenever I wow people with my phone, they always ask if it is a droid or Iphone, and they are surprised when I say it is a BlackBerry. People should know what BlackBerry can do, and that education piece starts with the carriers. TAT demos are just the icing on the cake.

For RIM to get active support from the US carriers, they would have to downgrade their security and allow the carriers to put their own crap on the phones to encourage users to run over their allowance and run up big bills. I buy BB because, for instance, it won't leak my SMS messages to facebook, or store NFC passwords in plain text and leak them to a different Android account.
If more people had a clue about security, Apple and Google would have to work a lot harder than they do. But they aren't.

Most of the comments contain the line "waiting for", and that's why my 2 year old gets the Playbook. While RIM makes you wait for features, the others are innovating. RiM is not catching up. TATs stuff looks amazing and groundbreaking, but the only thing they habe delivered to the consumer is a scrapbooking app. Print to go is lame, I could already send docs wirelessly to my PB, why do I need a separate app to open another app for me to view the docs? RiM needs to put them n making beautiful native apps now.

On a side noe, just saw the doctor be bold commercial... She doesnt eben use the bold in the add... I feel that their new adds are uninspiring. I want the to succeed, but I am not seeing anything hat is going to turn things around for them. I hope something huge is coming...

Wow. its times like these i feel that Blackberry Fans or Crackberry members can be RIM own worst enemy. They seem to Complaining about EVERYTHING. Rim just released 2.0s and your already bored with it and onto the next thing. Back to complaining about what the playbook doesn't have or how they are not innovating. How fast you forget about the BB Remote. In this kinda environment it just seems to smoother and blackberry flame that has started. Just fueling the RIM-Hate Fire. If they were anywhere close to releasing this app don't you think they would have included it in os 2.0. Don't get me wrong i love rim and Crackberry and the stuff that tat is doing and would love to see there stuff out right now but i just think that some of blackberrys hate is brought on by its own loyal fans and seem to whine about anything now-a-days, never happy with anything RIM is doing. How can rim every be good enough or catch a break? That just my own $0.02

It's not BB supporters who've created the negativity. Engadget and CNET have compounded every mistake RIM has made and they have made major missteps. Folks are just responding to the overall negativity that exists about RIM, much of which is overblown and unfounded. What you hearing is a desire for RIM to quiet the haters and frustration when they tease and don't deliver, or delays delivery.

I was hoping with 2.0 that the Tat apps would be baked in already to use. There is slot of potential with what I have seen in their apps. They need to start get some of them out to the owners. Come on RIM. Let's show the rest of the tablet world the playbook is the must have.

It will be most interesting to see if RIM responds to Misek's report today. It would be really sad if investors had to wait another 28 days to receive a long overdo update from the new CEO on his vision going forward for the company. Because although more may be getting done below the surface on the surface not much has really changed since he took the helm.

Dear RIM/TAT/Mr. Heins,

You know what uPod means? It's "under Promise over deliver", keep that always in mind and in due time you could harvest berries from the iPod maker. But for now, please kindy gather all your resources to "execute" the release of at least 50% of all of TAT's demoed apps for the next couple of months for playbook owners, this will create traction in the competition. Well for the other 50% and much more from devs who is patiently waiting for the NDK with cascades, release it in you full blown blackberry 10 superphones.

Thanks,more power,love you guys and be bold,

Consumer Market

Inspirational concept?! Screw that! I have absolutely zero practical purpose for this but if it was made available in app world I'd buy it today!!!! Totally cool!