About a year ago Brandfluent, a marketing company, approached me to develop a set of applications for Alcatel.
The first was a touch screen application to be displayed at a marketing event. The application was displayed on a 42 inch touch screen and was meant to showcase some of the Alcatel phones features and apps.
The application was written in ActionScript through Flash Builder.
Touch Screen App
The second application, Alcatel 803 One Touch was a facebook competition app in which entrant who invited the most users to join in on the competition won a R30 000 beach holiday. The competition was relatively successful with 120 entrants and 38633 invites sent out. The competition was also featured on 5fm.
Alcatel One Touch 803
The last and by far the most challenging was the In Touch with a Million Lives facebook application. The requirements were for the application to allow users to upload photos, along with some description data such as date, name and location, which would then be added to a mosaic in the shape of South Africa. When users hover over a photos on the mosaic a larger version of the photo is shown, with the photos details. The application also has the ability to allow professionally commissioned photographers to upload large numbers of photos via FTP. Later on an added requirement was to create a mobile web application to allow users to upload photos from their phones.
The application also needed to keep track of how many photos were taken, and if possible how many people where in the photos. In order to achieve this I had to add facial detection (not to be confused with facial recognition) to the upload process.
The application was, unfortunately, not very successful, with only 1600 photos being uploaded at the time of writing this post. There are many possible reasons for this, however I believe the most likely was a lack of incentive for users to take part. Nevertheless the application is one of my proudest achievements from a software development stand point.
The frontend was written in ActionScript, while the backend was written in Python.
In Touch with a Million Facebook App
In Touch with a Million Lives Mobile App
Example of face detection on a photo of friends and I
At times working on these applications was extremely frustrating both from a development and project management point of view. From Facebook API issues to constantly changing requirements, there were various challenges. However, during the course of the projects, I learnt a great deal, not only technically but also business and project managment skills. I also had the opportunity to work with very talented professionals including Murdo Mackenzie and Iveta Krajcirova in London, as well as Ange Surridge here in South Africa. Thank you to them and Brandfluent for giving me the opportunity to work with/for them.