Developing for Ultrabook™: Chance Stories, Passion, and Touch Capabilities

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As a former television producer, Jim Brady has a trained eye to uncover the best stories possible out of the unexpected and serendipitous. Brady used this skillset when creating Earthcomber, an award-winning app that connects users with their favorite places, people and stories in area given vicinity.

“The idea for Earthcomber grew from the fact that everyone would soon have GPS on their phones to help locate attractions around them, places they wouldn’t even think to search for,” said Brady. “In this way, Earthcomber has been a hit for people not only trying to find typical things like restaurants, but also when they’re looking for experiences like Indie rock concerts or to take in the best views in a city.” 

Brady first connected with Intel in 2011. At that time, he adapted Earthcomber to operate on Windows* PCs with AppUp® software, and renamed it Local Recon. Brady’s experience partnering with Intel has proven to be extremely invaluable. He said, “This is the first time I’ve partnered with a company that worked on my level as a developer, with as much passion for my product and desire to see it succeed.” Brady plans to explore the resources available in the new Intel® Developer Zone, which is the new program that combines the previous Intel AppUp® developer program, Intel® Software Partner Program, and Intel® Software Network.  “The community and resources will be a continuing pool of resources as I re-imagine Earthcomber for the Ultrabook’s touch capabilities and sensors.”

Today, Brady is looking to his new application, Public Radio on Location, to deepen the experience of being in places to a new level. Accessing public radio’s current and archived recordings, highly produced and meticulously transmitted programs, Public Radio on Location allows people to tap into the stories around them in the most unlikely places. From discovering the tale of a ghost town, to the harrowing narrative of a big battle, “the app gives you a vision into nearby events that you never knew were there,” Brady said.

Integrating the Ultrabook’s touch and sensors into his new application, Public Radio on Location, seemed a natural extension due to the app’s inherent “discovery” features.

“The touch capabilities of Ultrabook offer a much more tactile approach, allowing the developer to make the app live even larger, to unfold details that may have previously been buried beneath rudimentary navigation.”

Developing for Intel, “You can think of what you want to happen…and there is already a piece written for it, to craft an experience that’s easy to touch, slide and scroll,” Brady explained.  “For instance, you can use your fingers to drag stories and operate the play buttons on the screen, all without the aid of drop down menus. This is very inviting to users because everything that is happening and will happen is appearing right on the screen. This removal of barriers and un-hiding of features contributes to overall more playful and engaging experiences.”

With an eye to the future of app development, Brady is excited about the convergence of several key events. “You’re developing for the ‘right now,’ putting your app in front of millions of people and reimagining how it can play on a big screen.”

“With HTML5, we’re seeing a clear way to simplify but develop an even better and more dynamic experience for the user. That’s surprising, but amazing at the same time. We’re moving in a good direction.”

Visit the Earthcomber website to find out more information about the present and future possibilities of these applications. 

The Intel Developer Zone supports developers and software companies of all sizes and skill levels with technical communities, go-to-market resources and business opportunities. To learn more about becoming an Intel Software Partner, join the Intel Developer Zone

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