Meeps is a place for chatting with interesting people about the things you care about. IllCorp hired me back in October to create their iOS app, and we worked closely for several months, going through several major designs and functional integrations. By the end of the process, we created one of the best looking iPhone apps I’ve seen and since it’s soft launch in early March, it’s already attracted an eclectic and witty community of users.
Fresh Comics for Windows Phone
Fresh Comics arrived on the Windows Phone platform after approximately 2 months of part-time development. In approaching this project, I was extremely interested in determining how the print aesthetics of modern comic books melded with the “authentically digital” Metro design language. The result was the best version of Fresh Comics yet.
I served Power2Switch in a chief technical officer role from June through September 2011. There, I developed, deployed, and maintained the second major iteration of their technology backend based on the Django framework.
In addition to providing electrical rate comparison and switching services to mass-market consumers, I also implemented a deep data-mining backend that allowed the company use modern machine learning and model inference techniques to better understand both electrical consumers and their seasonal consumption. I also developed automated integration technology that allowed Power2Switch’s platform to communicate with a variety of external companies (power distribution & supply) as well as devices (individual smart-meters).
In a second collaboration with Northwestern University Library, I worked with them to extend Drupal 7‘s geospatial features to improve its usefulness to researchers conducting urban studies using methods pioneered in antiquities research.
My work focused upon improving Drupal’s gmap module to provide a better interface for search results and place listings. I created a user interface for searching using the map display to specify a search query and implemented the necessary framework on top of Drupal’s Solr search modules. This work also included new modules that allowed Northwestern to dynamically style the presentation of the map as well as display historical map layers overlaying Google’s current map.
Furthermore, I extended Solr to include support for date ranges using the Library of Congress’s Extended Date/Time Format. This allowed researchers to use natural date ranges in place of traditional nested date queries.
Crop Tool is a pure browser-space image viewer designed to for exploring and annotating high-resolution images served by tiled image servers such as Aware and Djatoka. Written using jQuery and Raphaël, Crop Tool development was funded by Northwestern University Library to create a browser-friendly viewer for their web-based digital image assets.
Audacious Software is currently adapting and extending this zooming image library for use in networked cartographic applications using OpenStreetMap code, infrastructure, and assets.
Fresh Comics for Android
Fresh Comics for Android is a full native adaptation of the original Fresh Comics application for iOS.
The Android version improves upon the iOS version by including support for retrieving the latest weekly information in the background and full support for Android’s system-wide search. A future iteration of the application will include a home screen widget for tracking new releases as well as a notification service for alerting users that new issues matching their favorite criteria will be available in comic shops later that week.
Fresh Comics for Android is a free download and is available now in the Android Market.
SMSBot is a hybrid web & mobile application that allows application developers to use the VoiceXML standard to create structured dialogs between their systems and multiple simultaneous (human) users. The system consists of a Twisted backend (Python) that tracks the state of the various conversations and a small Android application that allows the system to use commodity mobile phone services to communicate with users. In 2011, SMSBot was used in a research collaboration between Audacious Software, Dr. Micere Keels (University of Chicago), and advisors from the National Opinion Research Center to evaluate the effectiveness of using text messages to help social workers improve interactions with their clients.
The SMS Bot technology will be incorporated into other Audacious Software products in order to extend the functionality of our systems to devices not capable of supporting third-part mobile apps.
Fresh Comics is a mobile app designed to connect comic book collectors to the week’s newest releases and the stores where those issues may be purchased. It includes a geographically-aware store locator feature that helps motivated comic buyers find their closest shop.
It includes an innovative background downloading component that allows users to fetch comic information when online and continue to use that information in connectivity-poor situations. This allows Fresh Comics to go places where the other new release apps fear to tread.
Shion Online is full online service built by Audacious Software that allows subscribers to monitor and control their environments using a combination of cloud and native apps (Shion, Shion Touch).
The system consists of WordPress for public-facing website, a Django application for subscribers, and full integration with the native applications using a customized version of the Openfire realtime collaboration server. Shion Online integrates with Chargify & Authorize.Net to manage user subscriptions and provide a variety of electronic payment options.
The Wall of Life
The Wall of Life is a live wallpaper implementation of John Conway’s “Game of Life” for the Android platform. The Wall of Life implements Conway’s four rules to give mobiles a refreshing (literally) view into the two-dimensional world of Life. The wallpaper is designed to all Android 2.1 (and higher) devices and provides a rich set of options for creating the right aesthetic for your little world.
Shion Touch is an application for the iOS family of devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch). Built to run on all iOS 3.0+ devices, Shion Touch provides a native interface to Shion desktop applications. Shion Touch can the same historical event logs, device controls, and other features provided by the Shion software.
In addition to providing a convenient remote control and monitor, Shion Touch may be configured to share its location with the desktop application in order to create a geographically-aware home automation system. Would you like your heater to start warming up when you’re on your way home from work instead of when you step in the door? Shion Touch, at your service.
For more information about Shion Touch, please visit the website for the Shion Online service.
Shion.app is a home automation application for Mac OS X 10.4+ systems. Audacious Software created Shion as the cornerstone of a ubiquitous home automation system that allows smart home users to monitor & control their environment using mobile devices and standard web browsers. Shion not only provides a convenient remote control to users, it also includes a robust event-logging system that makes it simple to review the state of the environment over a period of several days or weeks.
While the application works well as a standalone home automation package, its basic architecture is designed to interoperate with a constellation of mobile and web applications that allow the user to richly interact with their environment from the comfort of their living room, or the comfort of a beach on the other side of the world.
For more information about Shion, please visit the website for the Shion Online service.
Task Views is an iPad application designed to communicate with a variety of online task-management packages in order to aggregate pending tasks and to-dos into a single “task space”. In this space, you can filter and visualize your pending items using more flexible and powerful tools than the traditional list interface.
Task Views is designed to be a persistent and peripheral companion to your daily work. You can set up the app as a peripheral display in your primary work environment. As tasks are completed throughout the day, Task Views automatically updates itself in order to provide you a current view for planning what comes next.
Task Views is currently in development & beta testing and will be released to the general public in 2011.
Mobilyze is a ubiquitous system for detecting and treating patients with depression using a combination of online interventions, patient-trained machine learners, and a hybrid web/XMPP infrastructure for connecting mobile users with a real-time web-based notification and reminder system.
Audacious Software created Mobilyze with the Mohr Lab at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. We implemented a pair of mobile Qt applications using Nokia’s Symbian 5th Edition platform. We integrated the mobile applications with the Mohr Lab’s existing depression web intervention using XMPP and the QtScript framework to enable real-time two-way interactions between patients and their caregivers. In addition to building the mobile clients, Audacious Software also integrated the Weka machine learning suite with the Smack XMPP library to create an “Oracle” bot that provided powerful machine learning and statistical analysis features to the resource-limited mobile clients and web frameworks.
SVG icons used in the Mobilyze tree node interface were selected from the Gartoon Redux theme.
The Oyez Project
Oyez is the premier source for information about the United States Supreme Court. We worked with The Oyez Project to implement and refine cloud-based server architectures that accommodate the site’s popularity among students, lawyers, and journalists.
In addition to providing system-level services, we also implemented an XML-based API within the existing Drupal 6 infrastructure to enable access to the site’s text & audio using mobile clients like PocketJustice.
The Oyez Drupal implementation & visual design created by Iona Group.