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Re: RFU apps for iphone

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:02 pm
by BrianEvans
Randy, you are right back at a developmental financial discussion.

Beside the point, if a user must have an RFU this bad,
we already have users in the forums Open Source section that have written some.

Re: RFU apps for iphone

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:25 pm
by TaineGilliam
I'm very afraid of the middle school kid who already has an iphone turning it into a remote - at least until I have a means of enabling/disabling RFU for a console. Too many kids have a bit too much of that mischievous side...

Re: RFU apps for iphone

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:16 pm
by MattKlasmeier
As for practicing I don't know how the PDA helps with that. In order to use the remote you have to have a console. The OLE which we do have and is free is far better for that. You can also load the RFU on your PC when installing the OLE.

Not that I'm opposed to an I-Phone app but as has been mentioned before there are limited development resources that have to be balanced. I have not seen the I-Phone app as a spec point or something consultants are screaming for. In the end features are added to sell more consoles. Would the i-phone remote really sell enough consoles to justify the development time?

As for a tech support matter the I-Phone scares the hell out of me. What app would cause the phone not to work as a remote? The endless calls of I bought this app and it is not working. Strand would see the income for the product but the dealers would not. That puts them in an interesting position. How much time do they spend supporting a product they have not sold? Taine also pointed out another great point of security. How do you keep i-phone happy teenager from causing havoc during a show?

The other question that comes into play is how long is the I-phone going to be around? Gasp... the I-phone not be around? All things come and go in the consumer electronics market. The I-phone has not been around that long and we have already seen 3 generations of product. When will the current software no longer work on the next generation of phone? I have seen this happen numerous times. I remember the "Hand Shake" by High End. It was based on the Palm III. That software never made the jump to the newer hardware. The same problem was encountered by Strand and the previous PDA. It was a great idea to use off the shelf PDAs as a hardware platform. The problem was that each unit that was picked would quickly be discontinued and ultimately PDAs would drop off the face of the planet or close to it. The choice of the Symbol unit makes sense. It is an industrial platform and has a longer product lifetime than consumer electronics. This means a more consistent product and less time redeveloping software. The irony is that when you buy an I-phone at the Apple store the little computer in their hand that they use is a Symbol PDA. I agree with Amoyer I would like to see the development time supporting the current product than opening yet another item that will continually need development time.

Re: RFU apps for iphone

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:18 am
by gooze
Unfortunately I cannot agree with you.

First of all, if you protect your wireless network with a proper password you don't have to be afraid of any iPhone happy teenagers.
Secondly, on the issue of support. If you make an app with very limited functionality that just works (it unambiguously does what it has to do in a very intuitive way) on the phone-end and has just an ON/OFF 'switch' on the console end, there is not much support you'd have to give. The only thing that has to be done (this time) is first write the manual, then the software, then release it...
To address your third point, I know that development resources are limited and that consumer electronics tend do change, but that's exactly the reason to jump onto some of those 'fashions' once in a while. You show that your company is flexible and enjoys technology. Most of the people that work in our industry have this same excitement about technology. That creates a bond. Say an operating system usually lasts for maximum ten years. That is very reasonable to develop something for. If you start to make something for a platform when the buzz is over though, e.g. three years after its original release, you only have seven years left. Also if you make a 'me-too' app you have to do it right the first time. Pioneers are forgiven much more.

I leave the conclusion up to others whether or not an iPhone app should be developed.

Re: RFU apps for iphone

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:49 am
by PhilFoleen
i'm a little confused by all of this iPhone talk, can't tom's little Open Palette app work on the iPhone? i thought it could since it's browser based.

That's why i think what Tom has come up with is a much better option in one word: "Future-Proof". it solves Matt's excellent point about hardware compatibility since it removes the hardware from the equation.

Focusing on one specific niche product is a bad idea, in my opinion as well. Strand is about choices, giving the client as many choices as we can withing the bounds of a working system to layout the functionality that you need as an entertainment entity. which sounds better?: "well if you want an RFU we have one, or you can buy the iPhone version." or "RFU? sure we have one, but you can also use your iPhone, Blackberry, iPaq, WinMo, Tablet PC, NetBook, Laptop, etc. etc etc., or you can program your own." i'm going to put my money on Option B.

So like i said, i'm not sure why all the hubbub about an iPhone app, since we already have it. is it because it's not actually in the AppStore? that's a silly reason. and as the Open Palette platform expands, and our mobile browsers become more and more fully featured, i think we'll actually be thankful that we're not boxed in by the iPhone parameters, and are free to run around in Lua-Land.

iPhone is so last year, me personally? i can't wait to try Tom's RFU program with my Zune HD when it launches in a little bit.

Re: RFU apps for iphone

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:16 pm
by AlanMartello
Item 1 - Features
gooze wrote:If you make an app with very limited functionality that just works (it unambiguously does what it has to do in a very intuitive way) on the phone-end and has just an ON/OFF 'switch' on the console end, there is not much support you'd have to give. The only thing that has to be done (this time) is first write the manual, then the software, then release it...
In the ideal world, yes. Unfortunately, the "limited functionality" is not very acceptable to many people. Here's my list of "minimum features" ... and I've probably forgotten a bunch

* Patch (will require a fixture library or at least an interface to remotely browse the fixture library)
* Live
* Blind
* Command Line
* Flash Channel and Output

I didn't even include recording cues or looks or running cues and subs. I'll leave those to others to include.... at which point I think we've surpassed "limited functionality".

Item 2 - Cost

So let's say we wanted to implement an iPhone app .... what should we charge for it? Some say nothing because it will increase console sales. Unfortunately, over the last 15 years of being in the console business, I've never heard anyone say they would or wouldn't buy a console based on the remote. People have said that an iPhone app would/could sell more consoles ... it's an emotional argument, but not one I see as backed by empirical evidence.

So.... if we can make a few buck from it, maybe it's worth doing. How much should it cost? $0.99? $4.99? $9.99? more? Well on average, how many will you sell per console? 10? 1? 0.5?

My guess would be less than 1 per console. Available industry research has shown that the numbers of theatrical consoles sold a year worldwide are in the thousands .... (vs. the tens of thousands or millions), so even if Strand had 100% market share, there just isn't much (hardly any) money to be made versus the 1-2 man-years development of a full-featured iPhone console remote.

... as always, other opinions welcome

Re: RFU apps for iphone

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:18 pm
by AlanMartello
PhilFoleen wrote:i'm a little confused by all of this iPhone talk, can't tom's little Open Palette app work on the iPhone?
Phil - although I'm sorry to hear you're going to try a Zune .... I agree with the browser-based concept. In the big picture with the changing of technology and the number of RFU's actually sold / needed a year, that makes the most sense.

Re: RFU apps for iphone

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:34 pm
by PhilFoleen
Alan, I'm with you on all of your points. especially when you take a look at the direction of emerging techs like the CrunchPad or the rumored iTablet giving us even more to play with as far as real estate and functionality that we could ever get with an iPhone. it just makes the browser based approach all the more appealing.

just wait till i post the pics of my sweet new zune :D i've been a loyal zune owner since day one, i'm still using my Brown v1 zune, but i just cracked the screen, which is why i'm so excited for the new one!!!

:ugeek:

Re: RFU apps for iphone

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:25 am
by Kuni
@Alan
I personally will pay $49.99 for that App. But in this I´m the only guy worldwide who will do this, I know that. And you sell less than 0.1 App´s for each selling console, that´s my experience of the i:cue terminal app.
@Phil
You are absolutly right. With the new tablet MAC (or also a PC) you have a little more space to work. I believe that a application that based on the internal webserver will be the best solution of this "problem".
The question is what are the board operator will do with a RFU?
In the most times the will use it for focus the light. May be to controll a look or two and, sometimes, to run a Q. That is what 99.9% of all people will do with this tool. Only 0.1% will programming the show with a RFU...

Re: RFU apps for iphone

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:03 am
by PhilFoleen
Kuni,

That's exactly the point Bob Going and I arrived at chatting about this in the office yesterday. Basically i agree with you completely, in this conversation parts of it are getting further away from RFU functionality, and much closer to remote programming interface suggestions(my tablet comments included).

I think you are correct in the comment that we need to realize that 99% of user take the RFU and use it for focus/dimmer checks. in that case, what we have is fine, a little tweaking is always nice for functionality's sake, and for this i think Tom's server based RFU is the perfect solution.

However, with the coming technology and the incredible advantages that we are afforded with Open Palette, we probably should be talking about making a more fully featured remote programming interface. The distinct advantage of the open source engine and everything being free is a great place to start. from there we can talk about a remote programming interface that the user can scale up and down depending on their interface, iPhone winMo, tablet, pc, iTablet etc. This is the point where we start jumping ahead of the competition by leaps and bounds. it's very exciting and we should start a dialog pretty quickly. Multi-touch programming interface anyone? windows 7 is right around the corner.