Chris Ell Exposed

Categories: Shop Talk

Posted by: Chris



Skills: Programming, Front-End Development, Being the office youngster.

Tools of the Trade: All the standard software: xCode, Eclipse, BBEdit, Flash Builder/ Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator. As for the heavy lifting in my code, I’m still looking and learning for good frameworks as I need them. Some great ones I’ve used so far though are: ASIHTTPRequest, ShareKit, and Tweet from SeaOfClouds for my web twitter feeds. My new favorite tool though is Cinder, an amazing library for C++ for creating interactive/artistic experiments.

Project most proud of: This might have to be a tie between my college capstone and my first iPhone app. My college capstone used and Arduino and LEDs mounted on a motor that displayed “emotions” from a live Twitter feed via different colors of lights.  Green represented happy, blue sad and red happy. I wrote a parser in Processing to analyze the tweets and figure out what the most prevalent feeling was, and used an RF transmitter/receiver to send the information wirelessly to the Arduino. The whole device spun quickly and created an interesting visualization to help understand the trends that appeared.

Check out a video

And of course my first iPhone app that I’ve worked on, Downtown NYC, was a great project and awesome learning experience. Working in iOS definitely made me realize that I wanted this to be a primary focus of mine.

Favorite App: I have a few favorite apps, some for their entertainment value and some for sheer interest in how they were developed. I find the Xfinity app great in that I can control my TV and browse everything straight from my iPad or iPhone and the interface is extremely refined. Bebot is an awesome synthesizer/Theremin type app, but you’ll most likely drive those around you crazy. And my guilty pleasure app would be StumbleUpon, I’m just grateful they didn’t add a counter to it that tells you how many times you’ve stumbled.

Dream Project: I’d love to work on an iOS game. I have a fascination with physics and particle engines and would love to get a chance to focus on these topics and come up with an addicting game experience.

What games are you playing lately: For PC, I’ve been playing a lot of Starcraft 2 lately, trying to get better. On my iPad, I just recently finished World of Goo and Pulse, both really great games. And on consoles, I haven’t played much at all recently. Got about ½ way through LA Noire and just lost interest. However, the insane line up of games coming out may bring me back to the consoles: Battlefield 3, Skyrim, Uncharted 3, Batman: Arkham City, Bioshock Infinite, Rage, Assassin’s Creed Revelations, just an insane line up.

Future mobile technology prediction: I’m thinking that more and more things are going to be integrated into our mobile devices as we move forward. I actually feel that it’s not mobile technology that’s really going to change, but other technologies that will adapt to allow mobile integration. Controlling every aspect of your home isn’t really reliant on the mobile device; it requires that everything else be able to accept control from the device. Of course developing applications and software to facilitate this is going to be a challenge, but I still feel that all the tools already exist to pull it off.