The week started off with looking at the Ultrabook sensors again for the next trick on the show. Geo location seemed to fit in neatly with Shufflr, for bringing a local context to what we show to our users.
A side note: Shufflr is powered by our social video discovery platform on the cloud. It has the ability to cater to users from different geographies from all over the world, giving them a good mix of global and local video content.
We turned on the geo location sensor on the Ultrabook and were able to get a reasonably accurate location fix. It appears though, that the sensor readings weren’t from a GPS device (as continuous tracking did not work). We are not sure if the problem is specific to our Ultrabook. The location is probably being inferred from the IP address, but that’s just our guess.
We then took the latitude & longitude from the sensor to Bing location APIs for obtaining the region/country. This information was good enough for the Shufflr platform to start serving locally relevant videos to the app.
Since the experiment turned out to be a success, we have now added a ‘local’ section to the list of celebrity video channels we have on the Flip Side. The feature is looking quite good and ready for the contest.
More multi-touch gestures
We have also introduced two more multi-touch gestures – to queue a video or like a video. Now, you just need to flick the video downward towards the queue / like icons on the app bar. Our users need not go to the app bar and tap on the icons any more.
Note: After quite a bit of experimenting, we found that multi-touch gestures are to be contained within the app canvas area and cannot go on to the app bar, at least in the Metro UI mode. A similar gesture (if we may call it that) is possible as a drag & drop via the mouse. So, we had to resort to some UX heuristics for achieving the design spec of flick-video-over-to-appbar-icon. It is not clear why the Metro framework does not allow touch interface to be as powerful as mouse-based UI.
This is the week of IDF at San Francisco. Shufflr will be live on the conference floor and stalls. If you are there, do drop in.