Web 2008 Expo - Day 2 - Web Innovation & Creative Day - Mashup and Beyond

Mashup and Beyond

The final session of the conference was about Mashups - and specifically presenting the winners of the annual Mashup Awards, sponsored by Sun and Recruit

The session was moderated by Akihito Fujii, who works for Sun, but was there as founder of the Mashup Awards. Fujii-san is very active in supporting Open Source and Startup businesses in Tokyo.

The grand prize winner lives in Fukui Prefecture which is a bit of a hike from Tokyo, and could not make it to the conference, so the two runners up were there to tell their stories. These were again two very contrasting presentations, and the most technically interesting of the conference.

The first was "Air Sanpo" - which translates as "Air Walk" or "Air Stroll" - a multi-dimensional mashup, followed by Newsgraphy - a mashup of news API, filtering and analysis and geometric science.

AIR SANPO from uranodai on Vimeo.

Air Sanpo

Air Sanpo is an awesome "Multi-dimensional Mashup" ... by that I mean that it mashes up online services, mobile wifi, game machines and devices into one experience.

Start with an iPhone. Input a train station name.
This is sent by wifi to the PC which displays Google Street view of the station.
Simultaneously the station name appears on a Chumby.
So you step on your wii fitness.
As you walk on the wii fitness, you are navigating Google streetview!
Steer with a slider on the iPhone.
The number of steps you have taken appears on the Chumby.
Now put on a pair of glasses, hotwired with a wii remote.
Now you can navigate and look around with your head!

This was quite inspiring to see - the hacker ethic truly at work. Hooking up devices and game machines to the web will help drive adoption to non-technical users. Check out Urano-san's video for the demo.

Second was Kaisei Hamamoto from Newsgraphy - a site that aggregates news and presents it with Information Visualisation science - or rather mathematics (geometry) - applied to the arrangement, filtering and summarising of the news by field. Interesting and almost intuitive (for a web user) way to navigate through news - from Yahoo's Topics RSS, and navigable with Google's Javascript Maps UI. Unfortunately at the time of writing the site seems to be groaning under load.

Great concept, and a reminder that map navigation is can be used to plot your way through - and into - different information spaces. I expect to see a lot more of this kind of metaphor on the recent zoomable UI phones and devices.

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