My first VR experience was using an early developer edition of Oculus Rift. It was easy to see the potential in the technology but it was somewhat overshadowed by the overwhelming feeling of motion sickness and the desire to throw up. My second experience was at Websummit in Dublin where I got to try the production ready version of Oculus Rift together with the hand controls. I was blown away by the experience. The problems with motion sickness had all but disappeared and the immersive experience and quality of content had improved immensely. Hand controls and spatial awareness sensors has helped to improve the perception of reality.
Since then we have acquired our own VR headsets and are like many media companies trying to figure out how to storytell through this new medium. The reality is that the technology is very much in the ‘early adopters’ phase of its lifecycle. Truly immersive VR headsets and the computers needed to power them are currently too expensive for the majority of people, the hardware and software needed to create quality content for these devices is also lacking or too expensive. Since these devices are largely stationary and located in your house the barrier for consumption is substantial, you have to be at home and it takes effort to put them on and find the content you want to consume. For a pretty comprehensive guide to the hardware and software currently available check out the guardians article, The complete guide to virtual reality – everything you need to get started
To deliver a truly personalised experience across multiple devices we require our users to login. To get our users to login we need to create a seamless login experience. Users often forget their username or password or do not understand that they can use the same login credentials between the different products or services we offer.
Password management services make it easy for users to keep track of their login credentials and use them across multiple platforms.
Apple and Google have created services to manage user credentials. Apples initiative is called “shared web credentials” and Googles “Google smart lock for passwords”.
If you update your apps and website to support both ‘shared web credentials’ and ‘Google Smart lock for passwords’ you can simplify the login experience for those users who have chosen to save their credentials with Apple and Google. The biggest benefit is in sharing login credentials between your website and your apps.
A couple of weeks ago, this article by Radosław Piekarz got some tracktion on /r/androiddev. While I am a fan of RxJava myself we use it extensively in our apps at VG.no, I feel this example was not the best use case for it. As others point out in the comment field, this can easily be solved without RxJava. Here is how:
This is the second year I’m attending Javazone in Oslo – a large IT-conference of the highest international standard, by and for the Java community. Although the Java technology is at the core, the topics range from front-end to back-end and infrastructure, security, architecture, patterns and processes. In short, you don’t need to be a Java developer to get something out of this conference, which now has its 15th year anniversary.
The media industry has and is still going through tremendous and rapid change. The transition from print to digital, from desktop to mobile, from traditional display advertising to programmatic, from primary news distributor to content provider for new social distribution platforms, from broadcast journalism to personalised experiences, from local competition to competition from global tech giants. Add to this personnel cutbacks and the challenges appear overwhelming. The only thing that is consistent is change.
Managing this ever changing media landscape is challenging. Systematic, coherent and well coordinated focus from all departments is required to tackle these challenges.
Objectives and Key Results, or OKRs, is an organisational planning methodology VG and Schibsted have begun using. Its main goal is to connect company, team and personal objectives to measurable results, making people move together in the right direction. Creating a clarity of purpose among all departments, teams and individuals in an organisation.
Apps are evolving to be more than just functionality available behind an app icon on a users home screen. Custom keyboards, widgets, notifications, 3D touch, extensions and siri integration are among the many ways developers can now engage with users outside the confines of the traditional smartphone app on the homescreen.
Advertisers don’t want to pay for advertisement placements that people don’t see. An ad loaded doesn’t necessarily equal an ad viewed, the publishers and advertisers have caught on to this and are naturally shifting towards valuing ‘viewable’ ads rather than served impressions. VG has been working on improving the percentage of ads viewable on our website, we are now guaranteeing a minimum of 70% viewability of ads on vg.no.
We need to do something about this and we need to do it now. Web development should not be frustrating. In fact I believe that it has never been as exciting and fun as it is now.
As mentioned in the article above several people are trying to find a solution to this symptom, all with different goals and ambitions. I would like to go ahead and present one such solution, one that I have personally been involved with, Roc.