Last Saturday, Nokia and Wieden & Kennedy launched alphalabs.cc at the onedotzero_adventures in motion festival at London’s BFI. Shane Walter, the co-founder of onedotzero welcomed the selected audience of artists and developers. First up was Keith Varty, the head of EDX UK Eire Nokia who described the recent efforts by Nokia to promote and get Nokia Lumia 800 into as many hands as possible. Will Coleman from Microsoft UK introduced the device and discussed technical opportunities that the combination of the Nokia Lumia 800 handset and the WP7 platform has created. Will discussed public signage inspiration for Microsoft’s OS, the idea of being able to “glance and see what you need to see and move on”, and “phone serving you rather than the opposite”. They also discussed the visual design of Windows Mobile around ‘Metro’ design framework with content and typography front and centre.
There are a number of elements included in the SDK that are aimed at developers to improve the workflow and experience for the end user. The “Live tiles” concept and combined motion api which allows developers to to update the tile itself, coloured background, add text. This enables users for example to add a tile of the flight info or purchased ticket to the front screen. The combined motion api takes sensor information and math and allows you to call that and easily see phone orientation, etc… The programming for the OS relies on two languages that you can switch between when you want to by calling different classes – SilverLight and XNA.
Alphalabs.cc is an initiative by Nokia and Wieden & Kennedy to promote “creative development” for the platform by launching a competition to win up to £5000. To kick things off they approached a number of developers and designers to team up and create an app within a period of only 2 weeks. The teams included Holotronica and Retroburn Game Studio, Field and Treehouse Dev, and Max Hattler and Indieskies.
Team Holotronica — Vequencer
Stuart Warren-Hill was looking for a new way for people to be able to engage with the tracks he makes and provide new ways to interact with them. He’d had the idea of an application that would allow people to remix his tracks. The team extended this idea with the ability to have an app which can allow people using multiple devices to collaborate. The result was Vequencer – real time, multi-device audio visual sequencer. The app plays a continuous 2 bar loop and the user can select from 8 different sounds to be played on each beat by tapping or swiping over the indicators around the edge of the screen. Multiple phones on the same local network can work together as the timing and the beats selected on one are automatically synchronised with all others.
FIELD — Redshift
REDSHIFT is a prototype for a racing game through music videos. Although still in development, the game combines 90’s style graphics with popular pop themes to deliver high paced racing experience. They’ve currently designed 3 game worlds which you can see in the promo/demo above. The actual gameplay is still in development and proving quite challenging. Nevertheless the teams are working to release the game on the WM platform in the coming months, followed by a possible release for other platforms.
Max Hattler — Kaleidobooth
Kaleidobooth is a kaleidoscope camera inspired by children’s toys and psychedelia. As Max explained, he did enough research to find that there were many examples of similar apps but he decided to pursue the idea anyhow. What is particularly unique to the app is that it clearly combines Max’s sense of aesthetic with general functionality of kaleidoscope. See video below I recorded.
The competition is open to UK residents aged 18 and over. They are looking for people who share an interest and an aptitude for experimenting on a new platform, with the collective aim to create new and exciting interactive experiences. You are welcome to enter on behalf of a company and they actively encourage collaborations of all kinds.
To enter, simply register on the site to create your account. Once you have registered, click the submit project button in the top right corner of the page. Make sure you document your project. Supporting material can include up to three images and one video pre-uploaded to YouTube. You are welcome to submit as many experiments as you like and you dont need the Nokia device for you experiment. You can create your project using the freely available Windows Phone SDK and run your experiment using the emulator.
The deadline for entrants and submissions is
09.01.2011 13 February 2012 (extended).
1st prize – £5000
10 shortlisted prizes – £500
The winner and shortlisted entries will be announced on alphalabs.cc on 13.01.2012
More info at http://alphalabs.cc/
Developing for the Lumia 800 With Windows Phone
The Lumia 800 is the first Windows Phone from Nokia. There are two platforms used for making Windows Phone applications:
‘Hello Alphalabs.Cc’ – Running Your First Experiment
Firstly you’ll need to DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL THE WINDOWS PHONE SDK. You’ll need a PC running Windows 7 or Vista, with at least 3GB of RAM. The emulator requires a DirectX10 graphics card. More info on system requirements can be found on MSDN. The Windows Phone SDK includes Visual Studio Express 2010, a complete development environment that allows you to create, test, and deploy your experiments.
Once you have the SDK installed, you’ll want to get your first experiment up and running.
DOWNLOAD THE SAMPLE CODE FOR YOUR FIRST XNA PROJECT HERE and open it in Visual Studio Express 2010.
Hit compile and run. The emulator launches and the demo code will run.
You can follow a TUTORIAL HERE to create this application from scratch.
The emulator does have it’s limitations. For example, if you’ve made an experiment that uses an accelerometer you’ll want to test this on a real device. To do this, you’ll need to REGISTER AS A DEVELOPER WITH MICROSOFT . It doesn’t take long, and once you’re finished you’ll be able to run your experiments on your phone.
You can use the example code listed here to kick start your experiments. If you’re stuck for ideas, a good way to get started is to try combining two projects, and experimenting with connecting them together.
ACCELEROMETER & GYRO, GPS POSITIONING, 2D & 3D GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION USING XNA, CONNECTING TO THE INTERNET, SOCKETS AND NETWORKING, LOADING XML DATA FEEDS, USING THE CAMERA AND VIDEO, CAPTURING, PLAYING BACK AND MANIPULATING SOUNDS
There’s also lots of example code available from Microsoft and other 3rd parties.
Support and Tutorials
If you’re new to developing on Windows Phone, there are lots of freely available tutorials that can help you:
If you are having problems with your code, you can post questions here:
Good Luck all!