By now, you will have seen why some of us at EMC Consulting have been a bit quiet recently, it’s because we’ve been working on something that has been secret up until today – the launch of Internet Explorer 9 beta.
What does that all mean? It means that we can now do a whole bunch of stuff with websites that we could only previously do with browser plug-ins, but using just a standard web browser. It also means that we can write one set of code to work across a wide variety of browsers, that does a bunch of stuff that was previously only the domain of plug-in technologies like Silverlight and Flash.
In actual fact, rather like this – which is what we’ve been working on for a few weeks:
Go give it a try at http://joydefinesthefuture.com – but beware, you’re going to need a pretty new browser like IE9 from http://beautyoftheweb.co.uk (other browsers are available!)
What is it?
Well, we experimented with the world of the ‘car configurator’ – the online tool where you add bits to cars, and look around them in detail to see what they’ll look like. Instead of playing with a real car, we worked with BMW to create a showcase for their BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car. The eco future of sports cars.
What this simple proof of concept has in it, is all the things that you would need to do a modern, rich experience car configurator. It’s got it all: 3D models, a soundtrack, dynamic switching on and off of elements… and even a change from day to night to help put the car in a context familiar to the user – and amazingly, it’s ALL DONE IN HTML.
It’s easy to forget this fact when we’re so used to plug-ins, but the level of sheer craft and skill from our designers and interface developers achieves, we would argue, an even better experience than those plug-ins have offered to date.
Ok, that’s it for now as we all have to go to the launch party. Once the launch has calmed down a little we’ll blog a bit more about how we did it, and some of the more design and technical aspects, but for now, go download IE9 beta at http://www.beautyoftheweb.co.uk/ and go visit http://joydefinesthefuture.com/
Who are we?
EMC Consulting is the consulting division of EMC. We employ a wide range of skills from the datacenter, right up to the user experience, to create compelling, meaningful and useful systems and interfaces that drive businesses, but also delight consumers. As well as doing the design and technical development for a number of great brands like Virgin Atlantic, Barlcaycard and Tesco, we’ve always been a strong Microsoft partner, and therefore had great opportunities to work on the technology of the future to help establish how it makes its way into mainstream customer experiences and our clients’ architectures.
It wouldn’t be right not to thank those involved and so I’ll do that before we go on to write anything else about this project – and the first thanks absolutely have to go to BMW whose help, support and cooperation, and of course, their beautiful and amazing car has made this all possible.
Thanks also for the explicit support of Microsoft, for letting us have the opportunity to play with the future, and of course the browser itself allowing us to do more than we imagined possible in terms of performance and smoothness of experience. The spirit of partnership, openness and collaboration throughout have been the kind of Microsoft I have seen emerging over the last few years that is exemplary of how the big software players should be working with partners.
And of course to the team who crafted this thing – entirely by hand I might add – in a demonstration of craft that I haven’t seen since the early days of the web, to produce something that if you told me about it in even 2001, I would have said was impossible…
So those thanks have to go to:
- Rob Brown – Head of our '”iDev” team – the HTML and JS guru who really stretched what was possible and shaped this whole thing with his amazing skills
- Matthew Ratcliffe – Lead 3D artist at EMC Consulting – What can I say? To create such a beautiful 3D model, with amazing textures, true to life reflections and dynamic elements. Awesome.
- Rupert Jones – Art Director at EMC Consulting – genius visuals, incredible patience, and getting to grips with the unique requirements of a prestige brand like BMW in a very short space of time.
- Tom Hopkins – Managing Consultant at EMC Consulting – Without Tom this project never would have happened. Supreme dedication to the cause.
- Mark Peters – Project Manager at EMC Consulting – keeping us all on track and keeping us all honest
- Stephen Fulljames – iDev at EMC Consulting – for diving in at the last moment when Rob went on holiday to get the project over the line
- Almost finally – a massive thanks has to go to Jane at Hear No Evil (http://hearnoevil.tv) for helping out with the incredibly effective and beautiful sound track(s)
- And although we already thanked BMW – Brian and Hans-Peter you’ve been awesome!