by Rob Ford
There was a time when I thought the Internet on mobile just wouldn't happen, mainly because of the poor connection speeds. While most of the time mobile connection to the web is pretty bad, especially if you are traveling, the increased access to wi-fi has made a huge difference, and for the last 18 months, I have spent more time looking at my mobile device than I have my 42 inches of screens on my PC.
Everyone is talking mobile. The foreseeable future is mobile. And now that Flash is working very well across many mobile handsets and devices, I am extremely excited about the possibilities. With that said, let's start this edition with one of the very first full Flash mobile experiences (created specifically for mobile devices).
In case you jumped straight to the first site and didn't read my introduction, this is one of the first dedicated Flash experiences on mobile. I hope to include at least one mobile Flash experience each month, so let me know if you have created one or found one.
Juke Power-Up is only available for mobile phones running "Froyo" (which is Android 2.2). But if you don't have a compatible device, there's a demo link in its place. The idea is to power up by shaking your phone. It's a very simple idea but one that is sure to put a smile on your face. And it works perfectly. This is definitely an exciting first for Flash on mobile.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit http://www.thefwa.com/mobile/juke-power-up and click REEL.
Site by Firstborn
Almost 100 years after the Titanic was launched on its fateful journey, this very in-depth site enables you to join in with this virtual raising of the Titanic. You get to dive down to 12,500 feet to see a 3D replica of the ship. Along the way, you will learn more about the expedition and the ship itself through a seamless integration of video, photography, and textual information. This is a hugely educational and impressive website. I have always wondered what the Titanic must now look like, and this is as close as I am ever likely to get to seeing it. Go explore!
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit http://www.thefwa.com/site/expedition-titanic and click REEL.
Site by Nomadic Agency
No doubt many of you will be familiar with "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," the smash hit TV series from the United States. Well this is a promotional site for the video game of the same title where you get to investigate a crime scene and then try to solve a random murder. What's great about this game is that each scene is random, so every attempt to solve the murder will be different and nobody will be able to spoil the suspense. You can also save your progress and return later to continue investigating. I love the way each scene is more than just a static image because you can explore by using your mouse to move the viewable area up, down, left, and right.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit http://www.thefwa.com/site/csi-deadly-intent-video-game-site and click REEL.
Site by Soleil Noir
The official description for this site says that it reinvents luxury, and I must say that it is indeed a very luxurious website. The quality of the content is beautiful, and the website is equally stunning.
Thierry Mugler works with the likes of Beyoncé, so be prepared for some truly amazing work. You also get the chance to go behind the scenes on some of the projects, with great streaming video and amazing photography. This is one of the best fashion-styled websites you will have the pleasure of viewing.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit http://www.thefwa.com/site/thierry-mugler and click REEL.
This is another site using Twitter creatively by getting users to tweet actions to reach the highest level of a mountain and stay there until the end. With excellent 3D graphics and a medieval look and feel, this game is also integrated into your Twitter client for seamless compatibility. My only concern with this type of idea, similar to Facebook Connect sites, is that they can take over your social media feeds while you are playing with them, which can result in some annoyance to your followers or friends. However, when the game itself is great, it's sometimes well worth it.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit http://www.thefwa.com/site/http-tweets-for-honor and click REEL.
I'm fairly confident in saying that this is an Internet first: a site that consists entirely of webcams pointing to specially commissioned murals painted around the United States and Mexico. Each wall represents a section of the site, so you get to travel between locations in real time. Naturally, some of the experience is local-time-dependent, but if you get the timing right, you will be in for a great experience. For example, I can see plants swaying in the wind, water dripping from a fountain, and a bird that just flew past the webcam. I love this type of originality, and I always wonder how it might develop further.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit http://www.thefwa.com/site/mexico-via-pacifico and click REEL.
Site by RED Interactive Agency
Another real-time multiplayer game, this racing game lets you challenge friends live to a race over obstacle-laden tracks. The better you do, the more points you earn to upgrade your vehicle and access other tracks. This is a Facebook Connect game, so you'll need an account to be able to experience it fully, but there is also a preview video available. This promotional game is actually for car insurance, and after crashing many times during the game, it just might be worth thinking about.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit http://www.thefwa.com/site/2099 and click REEL.
I think we can safely say that the static web is long dead, and experiences have taken over. The list above highlights this perfectly and also shows how social experiences are becoming very big. I remember last year when the We Choose The Moon project went on to win Site of the Year, I was delighted that such a project would be so popular. Now we have the likes of Expedition Titanic and more of this type of experience coming online more frequently. Life is all about experience, and now the web is, too.
Rob Ford founded The FWA Network in May 2000 and since then the network has received over 150 million visits. The FWA Network showcases projects that use cutting edge technology for desktop, mobile and offline, together with showcases for photography as well as video. Rob is also the author of three bestselling books of web and mobile. Check out The FWA Network.