The Astonishing Blog

TAT to join a larger tribe

By:Paul Blomdahl  Posted in:News

We’ve always been passionate about great user experiences and the interaction between people and devices. Our software and concepts are used in hundreds of millions of mobile devices, cars and consumer electronics products.

Today we’re very excited as we are announcing that we’re taking a huge leap towards our vision to help create a full user experience for a great line of devices and products.

Today TAT has agreed to become a part of Research In Motion (RIM).

Of course we will honor our current agreements and service our existing customers and have taken all the necessary steps to keep the two commitments separated.

Also: Inside BlackBerry

Stereoscopic UI

By:Staffan Lincoln  Posted in:Innovation

Stereoscopic screens for handheld devices will make the UI look a lot better, and cleaner.

Look Better

On stereoscopic screens, 3D objects look more real than they do on regular 2D screens. They enable designers to create visual delights that previously couldn’t be achieved on regular 2D screens.


Stereoscopy uses the brain’s built in depth sorting functionality to isolate objects from each other. The benefit of this is that you can concentrate more easily on things at a certain depth, while ignoring the other stuff.


The word breaks down into stereo, which means 2, and scope, which means eye.

One image for your left eye, and one for your right

Blinking like this almost gives a sense of what it looks like on a stereoscopic screen

You can create a stereoscopic image by moving the camera sideways slightly between two shots. When you show a combination of these images on a stereographic screen it feels like you can reach out and touch the photographed object. Reflections on the surface of the object come alive. Light comes in at one angle to your left eye, and at another angle to your right, and your brain experiences a sense of luxury.

Taken with two cameras separated by a few centimeters

Reflections look better on stereoscopic screens

The reflections of this timepiece may look over the top on a regular screen. But they were designed for stereoscopic screens, where reflections look less intrusive, and more glorious.

This is me, shot with a regular camera in Malmö

Watch how tangible the metal sphere appears

Even on a normal screen, you can get a sense of how touchable the metal ball will seem on a stereoscopic screen.

Two post-it-blocks on a window

Our brains have evolved to handle really cluttered scenes

The real world is really cluttered. But the brain uses the difference between the two eyes to separate things at different distances. So when you look at the text on the post-it notes on the window, you can comfortably ignore anything in the background. The blinking mockup above doe a poor job of conveying the real sens of calm and depth separation that this scene has on a stereoscopic screen. Sorry.


You’ve seen Avatar in 3D with glasses at the movies. In stores in Malmö you can buy stereoscopic TVs and computer monitors that require glasses. We’ve tried MotorStorm 3D Rift at the office, which makes driving off steep cliffs a visceral delight.

I’m eagerly awaiting the Nintendo 3DS, which you can use without glasses. It will be available in 2011. We’ve seen press releases about Japanese handset makers releasing phones with stereoscopic screens. It will soon be upon us.

TAT at Mobile Monday Berlin and iSuppli European Briefings

By:Ola Larsén  Posted in:News

Meet with TAT in Germany, November 29th-December 2nd in Berlin, at two upcoming events; the five year anniversary of Mobile Monday Berlin, and the iSuppli European Briefings.

TAT’s Vice President of Marketing Ola Larsén will talk on the subject “Exploring the future of screens” and how to enable a cross device connected user experience, with focus on the future role of tablets.

In his talks, Ola will address:

  • The importance of context in user interface design
  • The evolution of the tablet UX
  • Stereoscopic 3D and other UX enhancers
  • Shared UI among several screens
  • New UI enabling technologies

About Mobile Monday Berlin:

MobileMonday is a global community of mobile industry visionaries, developers and influentials fostering cooperation and cross-border business development through virtual and live networking events to share ideas, best practices and trends from global markets.

For more information

About iSuppli:

The global macroeconomic recession of 2009 will continue to have dramatic implications for the electronics value chain. With revenues falling by as much as 50% in some electronics sectors and with entire markets undergoing fundamental changes, the ‘renewed economy’ requires every participant in the electronics value chain to review and adjust their business strategies.

iSuppli analysts and executives will present an in-depth examination of different strategies for surviving and thriving in the renewed economy and will be joined by several leading industry speakers.

For more information

Free TAT Live Wallpapers for Android

By:Minna Gedin  Posted in:Development

That’s right! This is a unique opportunity to try out three Live Wallpapers from TAT. Normally, TAT only creates these kinds of wallpapers for device manufacturers and network operators. Now we’re releasing three TAT-designed, interactive wallpapers for free, to show off some of the cool things we can do with our powerful TAT Cascades™ UI framework. Our three promotional wallpapers are:

Artemia: a soothing, yet spectacular undersea wallpaper
Artemia is the beautiful home of glowing creatures. Poke them to make them swim a bit faster or tap on the water to see bubbles. Try catching a glimpse of the largest creature in the ocean! Artemia changes dynamically throughout the day, and it even responds when you charge your Android device.

Blue Range: a fun, isometric and living landscape
This fun loving live wallpaper is full of animals with great personalities. Poke them and see what happens! You can affect land elevation and tilt trees and flowers by moving the phone. Watch darkness fall during the nighttime and don’t miss the cool sunbeam effect while charging your device…

Retro Pixels: a game-like wallpaper with old school aesthetics
Explore a retro-style pixelated world. Flowers bloom when you receive text messages and calls, leaves fall when you shake the phone, and at night the moon rises. This wallpaper also has four hidden secrets. Will you be able to find them all? And can you really trust the duck?

Check out the trailer below, then go get the live wallpapers for free from Android Market!

Artemia QR code or download directly from your Android phone
Artemia needs access to the accelerometer.
The world in Artemia will rotate when the device is tilted. Bubbles will appear when the device is shaken.

Blue Range QR code or download directly from your Android phone
Blue Range needs access to the accelerometer.
The trees in Blue Range will lean with the device when tilted.

Retro Pixels QR code or download directly from your Android phone
Retro Pixels needs access to sms/contact data and accelerometer.
The flowers in Retro Pixels will bloom when texts and calls are received. Leaves will fall off the tree when the device is shaken.

Supported Devices
Samsung Galaxy S
HTC Desire
HTC Nexus One
Motorola Milestone/Droid

TAT explores the future of screens at CAT

By:Ola Larsén  Posted in:News

Fredrik Ademar will make a speech at the upcoming CAT conference in London, UK November 10, 2010. At CAT – Creativity and Technology – Fredrik will present on the topic “Mobile interfaces and the ubiquitous-screen future.”

Today, marketing and advertising are increasingly influenced by new technological trends. CAT stands out as a forum for the best minds in the field to discuss how creativity can be fostered through technology. The event consists of presentations, discussions and A-list creative case studies; a gallery where tech suppliers will showcase their products in the context of the work that they’ve enabled; and breakout rooms where tech suppliers can interact personally with creatives and provide hands on learning.

The Astonishing Tribe has lived up to its name with its eye-popping and assumption-busting experiments, things like Recognizr and, more recently, its Future of Screen Technology video. This technology and design company will discuss

that future and the future of mobile user interfaces and open innovation.

Find out more here >>

Beautiful Modeler

By:Staffan Lincoln  Posted in:Things we like

This looks fascinating. There’s something about these half finished prototypes that captures me. I’ve certainly never seen anything like this before. But I don’t know what the heck I would use it for. It seems like a brilliant, useless idea. Unless…

There is potential here. I can sense it.

Anyway. Thanks Karl D.D. Willis. I hope I may one day stand on your shoulders and do awesome things with these techniques.

TAT presents at the Intel MeeGo Tablet Roadshow in Korea

By:Ola Larsén  Posted in:News

Join TAT’s Vice President of Marketing Ola Larsén at the upcoming Intel MeeGo Tablet Roadshow taking place in Korea November 4th, 2010. TAT will talk about how to enable a cross device connected user experience and the future role of tablets.

The MeeGo Tablet Roadshow is a worldwide Intel sponsored event to drive Open Source developer awareness for the MeeGo project based on consumption target potential, location of large OS developer communities, and geo mix of Atom powered devices.

In his talk, Ola will address:

  • The importance of context in user interface design
  • The evolution of the tablet UX
  • Stereoscopic 3D and other UX enhancers
  • Shared UI among several screens
  • New UI enabling technologies

TAT will also have a demo pod at the event showcasing S3D, Horizon Maps & Lists, TAT Home, Velvet on MeeGo and more.

To book a meeting with TAT at the event, please e-mail Yoonie Choi at:

For more information about MeeGo go here >>

AlphaUi Back Type

By:Staffan Lincoln  Posted in:Things we like

I don’t really know what to make of this one. It’s fun that people are breaking with tradition. Real buttons perform better than touch screens and I’m sure expert users can write faster with fewer errors on this device, than say a touch screen with the same size. So, if you’re a secretary taking notes for a boss that walks around a lot, maybe this is something for you.

For the rest of us, having to learn a new keyboard layout is just too much to ask. Most of us know the alphabet as one long row, and when you break it up into three rows we have genuine difficulties finding characters. That’s why alphabetic layouts fail.

Frequency based layouts, where you have the most common characters in the middle fail for another reason. Coming from Sweden, I typically switch a lot between writing in Swedish and English. If I had two different layouts I would make mistakes all the time. The same is increasingly true in many other places as english is becoming the de facto world standard language.