Archive for the ‘Applications’ Category

An AVANT / BRC International product collaboration successfully launched the PoweringUp games for iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch on Thursday May 23rd. The app houses 10 games that help children train their brain to focus better, remember more information and bounce back from stress more easily.

“This is an important milestone in our partnership to leverage the value of BRC International’s neuroscience research for the purposes of helping children everywhere reach their full potential by using fun and engaging technology. This also rounds out the offering of the www.PoweringUp.com product for families seeking innovative ways to share and play in a meaningful way that improves brain health!” – Michael Kemper, Founder & Principal AVANT, LLC.

AVANT also created the companion site for parents, www.MyBrainsolutions.com/Parents to allow parents to monitor their child’s PoweringUp progress. In addition, parents can complete cognitive and emotional testing with their child and share reports with teachers and/or clinicians.

Download the PoweringUp app for FREE here!

In 2004, only 45% of all teens 18 and under owned a mobile phone (1). Today, nearly 60% of U.S. parents of “tweens” (kids 8 to 12) have provided their children with mobile phones (2). By comparison, in the UK, 75% of 10-year-olds own a mobile phone. In Poland, the figure is 83%. Needless to say, the average mobile phone age in the U.S. has been dropping steadily. As of July 2011, the average age stood at 11.6 years (3).

(more…)

Communication is Qué?

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Effective communication, one of the most important aspects of all successful interactions, is often elusive and difficult to achieve in our personal relationships. I think most people would say that ‘communication is key’ in any relationship, but it has to be mutual to be effective. Like our personal relationships, websites and software applications are interactive and often “engage in a type of communication with their users” (“Designing for the Digital Age”, Goodwin p. 425).

(more…)

AVANT has partnered with Brain Resource, Inc., a developer of innovative tools to improve brain health, on the Health 2.0 launch of MyBrainSolutions for Parents and its companion site for children, PoweringUp –an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) management tool for the home.

MyBrainSolutions for Parents empowers families to work together to improve skills needed for the classroom, the playground, at home and in life. A key feature of the site is a scientifically validated assessment and report that provides a better understanding of their child’s unique pattern of strengths and relative limitations.  The system uses insights gathered from the assessment combined with parent settings to customize the games and activities on the PoweringUp site for children.

“Collaborating with our partners to invent new technology products that improve health and wellness has become a primary objective for AVANT. Contributing to Identifying and managing ADHD in children is an exciting opportunity to impact millions of families in a positive way. We are thrilled about the potential this product will have in the marketplace!” – Michael Kemper, Founder & Principal, AVANT, LLC.

“As both a clinician and a parent, I know firsthand the challenges that come with ADHD and understand how many feel powerless in the face of this condition. Like many parents, I often wished there was more I could do to help my child,” said Gregory A. Bayer, Ph.D., CEO of Brain Resource, Inc. “Our approach is unlike any other as we recognize that the one who knows the child best is already in the home. By helping parents better understand their child’s specific needs, we can provide a clear pathway to tackle the areas that require attention from the comfort of their own home. This site empowers both parent and child to work together in a goal-oriented, fun and rewarding way.”

Watch a video of the Health 2.0 launch here. Read more here.

AVANT Partnership Wins At Cannes!

Monday, June 25th, 2012

The AVANT, Leo Burnett NY and Village Voice partnership won big at  last week’s 59th Cannes Lions Festival! New York Writes Itself took home a Gold Lion for Branded Entertainment (for Best use or integration of user-generated content) in the award’s inaugural year. Additionally, we picked up 2 Bronze Lions — a Direct Lion (for Use of Direct Marketing) and a PR Lion (for Best Use of Social Media).

New York Writes Itself owes these successes to the real people of New York, who have been adding to the Script and helping us to turn the everyday but extraordinary sights and sounds from the streets of NY into exciting creative productions!

Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna has unveiled a new wellness and behavioral health benefit named produced by AVANT. The brain-training website, MyBrainSolutions.com, offers games, videos, and trackers that improve stress management, memory, and attention. These, it says, will assist employers trying to raise productivity and improve the health and well-being of their workers.
MyBrainSolutions uses a personal brain assessment to measure four areas of brain performance — emotion, thinking, feeling, and self-regulation — and then matches the person to specific brain training games and exercises.

“There are strong linkages between brain health and overall health and well-being,” said Louise Murphy, head of Aetna Behavioral Health. “The addition of MyBrainSolutions into our industry-leading portfolio of products provides our members with a fun and engaging way to improve their health and wellness.”

A personal dashboard is available to track individual brain health success, as are tools for setting and tracking long-term goals. The online training is self-paced, private, and can be completed in as little as 10 minutes per day. (more…)

Mining For Value: Product Launch or Bust

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Almost anyone can get their hands on what they need in order to be a digital product inventor. That is to say: anyone can gain access to the fundamental design, development and production tools one needs to create a product. The digital product development space benefits from open access to a variety of tools and methods for developing digital products – including support programs like BizSpark, free trial software, FREE software, endless online tutorials, and open source solutions. Not only is there easy access to the tools, but the tools available do so much of the work for budding product inventors that the barrier to entry for coding is potentially low (depending on the sophistication of the product-to-be). So, what about the right product idea? Pretty much everyone I talk to – in and outside of the interactive industry – has a digital product idea, as well. Whether it’s for the web, TV or mobile pretty much everyone remotely interested in technology, (isn’t that everyone?), either has a product idea or could come up with one. A successful product idea doesn’t even need to be unique: most VCs agree that existing competition shows a real need and market for a product. One might think that this means inventing a digital product is easy: access + great tools + ideas = success. Right?

Well, lets be frank: it’s easier then it was a few years ago to create and launch a product – and its going to get easier in many respects. However, the reality of creating successful digital products is that the development processes can be fairly complex for a company building for the future. And by development, I don’t simply mean the actual coding, engineering, or testing  tasks. I refer to the development of the product idea and user experience, as well. When considering the impact of decisions regarding business model, user experience, technology platforms (language, servers, scalability, etc.), operations, and more – it amounts to quite a claim stake with potentially little or no ultimate value or success to show for the effort in the end – except maybe some hard lessons learned. As an older and well respected colleague of mine said a few weeks ago: “… if you create a good product you might send your kid to state college. But the difference between that and actually launching a truly successful digital product is vast.”

(more…)

AVANT gives Kaleidoscope thumbs up!

Monday, January 24th, 2011

We have been using a nifty application called Kaleidoscope, and we must say it is a pretty sweet application. The main functionality of this application allows us to do visual file comparisons very quickly. One is able to compare text and images side by side manually, or use the instant search function by using keyboard arrow keys and jumping from change to change.

What we found very useful was being able to spot the smallest details on retouches and color changes. There are several layout aids that you can choose from that help you spot the differences quickly and efficiently. The work flow on Kaleidoscope is easy as well! Just simply drag and drop multiple files whether they are png, psd, jpeg, tiff, etc. We are also thrilled about the UI design! We recommend you give this application a try and tell us what you think! check it out here.

Derezzing the Pluggin Web

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

As if the promise of HTML 5 wasnt cool enough, watching the new TRON trailer using the new <video>  tag gets us all hot and bothered. Check it out here along with other cool demos on new HTML 5 features. Looks like the pluggin-based web may be getting the End of Line from Master Control.

CIVIO.com Launches!

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

We are proud to announce that one of our most recent products is now up and running with a new public website! AVANT is a core part of the product design and development team for CIVIO and has partnered with CIVIO, LLC to share in the success of the platform. We also designed and developed the new public site.

Our work on CIVIO reflects a core principle at AVANT that building community is important. Experiencing ideas outside one’s immediate sphere of influence inspires and educates, and that is precisely what CIVIO does for customers and communities it serves. The product itself is one of three successfully launched products AVANT contributed to in 2009. We are optimistic that CIVIO is going to be a great success and help change the world for the better.”

- Michael Kemper, AVANT Founder + Principal

The CIVIO application is available to potential investors, existing customers and VIP’s, but for now everyone else in the world can learn about the vision and direction for the product here. Congratulations to the CIVIO team on a snappy launch!

HTML 5: Draft 5

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

More and more websites are incorporating the latest web standards to deliver content – optimized especially for devices. But there are plenty of reasons to celebrate these new standards for the desktop “browser-based web”, too. For over a decade I have been using Flash for creating rich application and website interfaces  – and later Silverlight – (I contributed to iterations of both of those platforms) – but AVANT is eagerly awaiting the broader acceptance of HTML5 standards. Not only is HTML5 making page structure easier to architect which cuts my cost as an agency; consider all of the features like drag and drop, audio and video playback (typically reserved for Flash/Silverlight implementation). Not to mention extendabilty to a litany of devices without having to extensively recode an interface. As AVANT anticipates the W3 recomendation to use HTML5, (which will make the technology more pervasive),  Draft5 is a great resource for boning up on the next important evloution of the standards-based web (another month, another W3 draft update): Draft 5.

Flash, Mobile & the Next Web

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

The next web is without a doubt going to be mobile and device-driven. But the current limitations of devices are many and varied, especially considering rich web experiences. Flash is the most common web-based rich experience technology available, unfortunately they just cant seem to crack the OEM “nut” (Original Equipment Manufacturer), meaning they cant get their plug-in accepted on the broader set of available devices. Adobe is going to need more then Nokia to push it over the line. If one does happen to have Flash on their phone, the process for a developer making compliant Flash Lite apps is a mixed bag of version control and specific bug tracking to get the experience solid. The result is few (useful) apps for your phone – limiting your technology experience. This is something I know a bit about having worked directly with the Adobe Mobile group a few years back. It saddens me to think that one of the technologies I have built my career on may not cross the device threshold and become as relevant in the next 10 years as it was in the previous decade. Perhaps the new $10 Mil fund for the development of Flash and AIR apps announced by Adobe recently will impact the OEM problem, assuming the apps that come out of that effort woo the manufacturers and service providers over to their side. But what else can possibly take the place of Flash? Windows Mobile? Riiiight… That being said, it’s not the only limitations: there is still battery life, browser standards specifically for phones, and network bandwidth – then again Flash tends to drain on those, as well.

mediaIcons

In the spirit of other well informed PSA’s, all of us at AVANT wanted to inform you of an epidemic that plagues the digital world: ICD (Icon Confusion Disorder). Quality icons in an intuitive interface is the right of every software application. Clients tell us that their top priority is visitors that are happy and excited about media. AVANTians understand and know whats best for UX; and they know how to improve usability. We do that by removing the clutter and providing a safe and nurturing environment to select games, videos, images, and even galleries that is free of confusion and mixed metaphors. We have to get users ready for apps; but on the other hand we have to get apps ready for users. Testing tells us that icons matter and they have a rightful place in our apps. Iconography at every level improves user achievement. AVANT is committed to working hand in hand with you to ensure that each app is an enjoyable and meaningful experience – so your app is started on the path to a bright future. Please join us by downloading and using these free media icons in your apps – Today!

Microsoft BizSpark

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

BizSpark is an innovative new program that unites Startups with entrepreneurial and technology resources in a global community with a common goal of supporting and accelerating the success of a new generation of high-potential Startups.

A core strategic component of AVANT’s mission is to design and develop products that focus on compelling new platforms and disruptive technologies. A large portion of our clients are also partners that we are developing products with to effect change and make a big impact on enhancing communication, education, culture and engaging audiences. As a member of BizSpark, we are now able to accelerate our client’s success by providing fast, affordable access to current, full-featured Microsoft tools and technologies, plus production licensing for hosted solutions.

Clockerbox Launch

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Our economy is evolving. Attention is scarce. Time is the new currency. How do we focus our attention on the things in life that really matter? How can we keep track of the events in our lives that are meaningful? Today, AVANT launched the Clockerbox Community to correspond with our demonstration at MIX09 in Las Vegas. Clockerbox tracks the progress, learning experience, and success or failure of individual goals. It’s built in the Silverlight platform and runs on .NET. Join our community and start something you’ve always wanted to do at www.clockerbox.com. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part, now you have Clockerbox to help.


Catch Up With AVANT at MIX09

Monday, March 16th, 2009

We will have AVANTIANS at MIX09 this year, and to give you something to talk to us about we thought we would post info on Microsoft projects some of our team members have worked on in the past.

Michael Kemper, Founder + Principal

Kemper has worked with Microsoft for over two years starting with a project called TopBanana which debuted at the MIX07 keynote. Some other projects he worked on include:

_ Silverlight 2 Component Set (Keynote 08)
_ Expression Media Encoder (Silverlight Galleries)
_ Microsoft Surface Products and Demos (Runner up for keynote 08)
_ DigitalForum (Featured at WPC)
_ Zune Social Card (including the facebook implementation)
_ AOL Silverlight Mail Client (keynote 08)

Jeremy Stover, Senior Developer

_ Top Banana
_ Silverlight 2 Component Set (Keynote 08)
_ Expression Media Encoder (Silverlight Galleries)
_ DigitalForum (Featured at WPC)
_ Zune Social Card (including the facebook implementation)
_ AOL Silverlight Mail Client (keynote 08)
_ and several more…

We hope to meet you and talk about everything Silverlight (and maybe a little Flash ;) ).

Clockerbox At MIX09!

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Part of our new Clockerbox platform will be shown at MIX09 this year. Jeremy Stover and Kemper designed and built a Clockerbox community tool using Silverlight. The application tracks life events from community members and tracks progress. More on that to come soon.

Kuler Recognized By Communication Arts Annual

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

“Interacting with this site took me back in time to my first box of crayons. Fascinating. Mesmerizing. You knew you were about to create something great. And this one won’t get you in trouble for coloring all over the walls.” —Jeff Benjamin

“A great collaborative tool.” —Liz Castro

Developed as a complement to Adobe’s Creative Suite software, this online application allows users to create, edit and share color themes with a community of users. Quick loading and easy to use, kuler can also export the created themes for use in desktop applications.

We wanted this to be a meaningful tool for everyone, so the process for creating new themes or building upon existing themes had to provide relevant context for anyone working with color in any format. Our biggest challenge was figuring out a fluid workflow for the theme creation tool since it would be pivotal in generating interest and building a community of theme creators. check it out!: