Create Hotspots using the Fireworks JavaScript API

July 10, 2012

If you are a designer who happens to know JavaScript, you may be happy to know that Fireworks has a JavaScript API. This tip came from Justin Lee, from Herxun, who used it to create hotspots on an image of the Taipei Metro map and then used the vectors to embedded clickable regions within a mobile app. The result was impressive. You could touch areas of the map and view contextual info, like estimated wait times, etc.

I was impressed by how Justin approached the problem of data transformation, considering how painful it can be mobilize vectors of dynamic data. He used Adobe Fireworks, a graphics app. Fireworks has a JavaScript API the he used to perform data processing. When you clicked a region on the image map, contextual information could be displayed. It was an elegant approach that saved lots of time.

Here is how he did it (per his email to me):

Because Taipei Flora Expo closed a few days ago, the official taipei metro route map changes a lot. With the fireworks work flow, It only take me less than half hour to fix it.

Obtain the FIreworks Console:

Then draw hotspots on the canvas and select all of them.

After that, open the Fireworks Console, paste below code to in it.

var hotspots = [];
for(var i=0;i {
var hotspot={}; = sel[i].altText;
hotspot.l = sel[i].pixelRect.left;
hotspot.t = sel[i];
hotspot.r = sel[i].pixelRect.right;
hotspot.b = sel[i].pixelRect.bottom;

console.log("nhotspots = ");

Then click ‘Eval’ Button, you will get all coordinates of the hotspots in JSON format.
I hope this may help you sometime.

I haven’t tested this yet, but you I can foresee several use cases.  I may write an app that demonstrates this further.  In the mean time, you can download the map here and try it yourself. Pretty slick.


Flip & Zoom Skeuomorphic Effect w/ Titanium Mobile

July 7, 2012

This is a simple concept piece that attempts to recreate the effect of opening a box to view contents, in a realistic manner. It’s written in Titanium Mobile using 2D/3D animation, shadow views and skeuomorphic designs.

Flip & Zoom Skeuomorphic Effect w/ Titanium Mobile from Terry Martin on Vimeo.

Off Canvas UI/UX Example [VIDEO]

July 6, 2012

Here is an app I wrote as part of a mobile strategy for  This began as an experiment with Titanium Mobile to create a unique user experience based on navigation. Although this app is a prototype, it is nearly complete and may become a key part of the company’s strategy going forward.

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Congrats: Feb 2012

February 10, 2012

Sometimes in life you take a time out and stop to smell the roses. This is one of them. Several key updates have happened to several people that have impacted my life, so feel compelled to write a congratulatory note.

Just want to take a time out and say “Congrats” to many people this week…

You guys are an inspiration. Keep it up.

– Terry

Mobile Apps and the Internet of Things

January 16, 2012

The gist: mobile apps are driving demand for smarter hardware.  People are wanting closer relationships with the world around around them.  This naturally includes tighter integration with hardware devices and greater control over how we use them.

Just as the Internet fueled demand for engaging online, mobile apps are fueling the desire to interact with hardware.  Mobile is inherently interesting due to its persistent connectivity and accessibility.  It speaks to the heart of value creation.  Always on, always available.

Many people are probably aware of the gist I pointed out above. But, if we take a closer look at what is happening we can see that embedded software is becoming smarter and more social.  Hardware communicates with other hardware.  This is the “Internet of Things” and man does it have large implications.

How big? Well, here is a quick overview of what the Internet of Things looks like (courtesy of Ericsson).

Source: Ericsson AB, “Infrastructure Innovation – Can the Challenge be met?“, Sept 2010

Let’s look at a few examples emerging in 2012.

Evidence #1: Tri Cascade

At the 2012 CES show there were a couple of products that caught my eye.  One such product is from Tri Cascade, based in Newport Beach, CA. Tri Cascade has developed “smart” power outlets that use embedded software that communicates real-time power consumption information.  Using their line of products, you can build a smart home energy system that uses a mobile app for management.  Check out this video demo courtesy of PSFK:

Evidence #2: Samsung

Another interesting application comes from Samsung and their new front-loading washer with integrated Wi-Fi. This washing machine comes with an iPhone app for you to manage remotely.

These are just two examples that I’ve come across recently. I will document the implication of how mobile disrupts industries and business process in the coming weeks.

These are exciting times to be a mobile developer and an honor to be a part of it.

You can find me on Twitter, teaching mobile development with Appcelerator, or working on these type of things at Semantic Press.

A Glimpse into Walmart’s Vision for Mobile

January 4, 2012

Regarding the recent acquisition of Small Society, Kosmix, OneRiot and Grabble, Walmart Labs has taken a strong position on the future of commerce and embedded systems.  Walmart believes it can create the infrastructure for the next generation of mobile shopping and converge these services to create new experiences for consumers.  And, it’s doing it with the help of former Yahoo! engineers.

Walmart Labs new vision is strongly supported by Yahoo technical standards community leader Eran Hammer-Lahav, Ben Galbraith, Dion Almaer and Tom Hughes-Croucher.  These guys have the vision and the technical experience to deliver.

What caught my eye today is Hammer-Lahav’s comment regarding Walmart Lab’s mobile vision…

There are so many trivial features that it is amazing we don’t have yet. Like knowing how much money the shopping cart is going to cost you before you check out, like standing in front of 10 different kind of canned beans and reading reviews or getting the ‘people who bought other stuff in your cart like this brand.’ Opening an app and choosing ‘roasted chicken’ and getting all the ingredients added to your list, or alternatively, showing you how much it will cost to just buy it prepared. Or telling you how much ketchup you probably have left at home based on your past shopping history, since no one has the time to check everything before they go to the store. That’s without even thinking about this much – just based on my own retail pain. Getting to build stuff like that for 140 million weekly shoppers is mind blowing.”

It’s clear that Walmart Labs is building the back-end infrastructure and building the front end applications to deliver on this vision.   This is great validation on exactly the vision that I am dedicated to with building Semantic Press and the Internet of Things.

I wonder what other retailers are doing to accomplish this task?   After all, everyone knows that Amazon is a software company.

Welcome to the future of commerce  😀

Buffalo, Westbound

January 1, 2012

Buffalo Westbound

I captured this moment on film… me leaving Buffalo, NY for San Francisco. I nearly passed the exit ramp for fear of “officially” closing a chapter in my life and moving away from people I grew to know and respect. I didn’t get to say goodbye. Dan. Curtis.

It was that small synaptic reflex that made me realize how affected I was. How much I love Buffalo.

I began to reflect… all the cool people I met, the awesome range of food from locals, the hipster scene in Elmwood Village, the awesome architecture / cultural history, Niagara Falls, Ellicottville, Toronto, Delaware Park, snowboarding, and most importantly, my friends.

These are the people that pull together and try to inspire or drive change in the community. They love Buffalo and want to see it prosper. They are super smart and ambitious. They take pride in the city and get excited about new technology. They geek out on food and design. They love the Sabres. And they pushing for Buffalo to become a startup hub.

They step up. They create things. They try to leave the world a little better off.

To quote Chris Sacca

I think people from Buffalo have something going for them – I have never met more genuine salt of the earth folks than who we all grew up with. Use that understanding of real Americans to your advantage as you strike out into the rest of the country. ~ FormSpring

Call me sentimental, but I had a flood of thoughts as I approached the exit lane for I-90. This would become the point of no return… a sort of official end to this part of my life and on to the next part: Mountain View, CA.

A voice inside me said, “You’re realizing your dream. It’s ok to keep going.” I remembered why I’m leaving. What my raw passion is. What I want to achieve in this brief life and the products I am building. What impact I want to make on others. My children. My wife.

So with that push, I entered the exit lane towards Cleveland. Soon I will be in California again, only this time it’s for good and inevitable.

I’m not a native Buffalonian, but I felt like it. There’s a sense of family that I guess I needed which I’m grateful for.

Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely path, full of hard, life-changing decisions. It’s important to believe in what you are doing and to do it with high level of confidence.

Don’t worry, the dots connect. A part of me will always be connected to Buffalo.

Google Search Snippet for List Pages

September 5, 2011

I just came across a search result page on Google and noticed this new snippet… Read the rest of this entry »

iOS Resolution Table

September 5, 2011
 iOS Resolution Table
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Javascript Information Visualization (JIT) for Titanium Mobile

September 4, 2011

The JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit provides web standard based tools to create interactive data visualizations for the Web.  I’m porting this to a commonJS module for Titanium Mobile. Right now it’s a data explorer app for internal development at Semantic Press.

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