Archive for January, 2011

Following from our adventures at BETT, we’re delighted to be featured in the SMART Technologies eco-system blog this week (original post here):

Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, Interface3 specializes in developing software for interactive tabletop surfaces. Before it began development for the SMART Table interactive learning center, the company’s primary focus was on developing digital signage and applications for the finance sector.

When the team at Interface3 heard about the SMART Multitouch Application Contest in 2010, they were intrigued by the idea of developing an educational application for the SMART Table – the world’s first interactive table for primary education.

“We were excited about the idea,” says Kate Ho, Managing Director, “It gave us a chance to work with a different sector, and we thought it would be a fun internal project to do. We started by performing research and conducting interviews with primary teachers, and then the list of ideas for the application came out of that – the contest was the start of it all.”

After working closely with primary school teachers to find out what kinds of things they struggled to teach in class, Ho and her team used their research to develop a multitouch, multiuser music game for students aged 4 to 11. The application, called ChromaBeats, won the SMART Multitouch Application Contest and received Premium accreditation from SMART’s Software and Content Accreditation Program.

“It was great working with the SDKs from SMART because they use .NET programming languages, which meant that our skills were transferable because we didn’t have to learn new languages,” says Ho, “And it has been fantastic being able to bounce ideas off the product managers at SMART and benefit from their knowledge of designing for the SMART Table.”

As the winner of the SMART Multitouch Application Contest, Interface3 will be demonstrating the ChromaBeats application in SMART’s booth at BETT 2011, the largest education technology exhibition in the world.

The team at Interface3 already plans to develop a second version of ChromaBeats along with additional applications for the SMART Table. “We’re quite excited about working in this sector – it’s just way more exciting than mortgage applications,” says Ho. “It is so fun to see the sense of accomplishment that children get when they play ChromaBeats on the SMART Table. You can just see their eyes light up. It’s brilliant!”

As mentioned in our last blog post, this week sees the launch of our first product for the SMART Table – ChromaBeats. A collaborative music game aimed at 4-11 year olds, the application helps students in learning to read music and give them the confidence to compose their own short pieces. Starting with the look and feel of popular console games such as Guitar Heroes, we engage students to read music in a natural and intuitive way.

We’ve now got a dedicated website for ChromaBeats for you to find out additional information as well as purchasing a copy.

Please don’t hesitate in dropping us an email at hello@interface3.com if you have any queries or if you would like a reviewer’s copy.

Tonight, I’m going to be braving the sleeper train and heading down to London for 3 days for BETT 2011 where I will be representing ChromaBeats and Interface3.

Having already seen the discussions on#BETT, I’m both scared and excited at the same time to head to what is known as the largest education technology trade show in the UK. We’ll be demo-ing ChromaBeats at the SMART Technologies stand at 12.15pm and 3.15pm Wednesday to Friday. Please come by and say Hi!

We’ll also be speaking at the SMART Technologies eco-system event on Thurs 12th about developing for the SMART Table.

In addition, this week sees the launch of ChromaBeats. Our first SMART Table music application is finally ready to launch after being SMART accredited (Premium level) and we’re delighted to go on public release. We’ve tried to keep prices affordable, so it is £24.99 for a single site licence and £99.99 for an unlimited site licence.

For those of you attending BETT, we’ve decided to give you a special discount – slashing the price of a copy to £9.99. Please get in touch if you want a reviewer’s copy, or if you have any questions!

After four long years, Surface 2.0 finally arrives. This time round, it looks like the team have move the platform to utilise Windows 7 touch, and is collaborating with Samsung to make the hardware a bit more affordable (although at just over $7k, it’s still out of reach for most people). Interestingly, it looks like they’ve abandon the projector based technology, and moved straight into LCD screen with multitouch. This is not unsimilar to more recent approaches to multitouch tables and it’s good to see that Microsoft have embraced it.

The launch of Surface 2.0:

And the “cheesy” Surface 2.0 experience: