Monthly Archives: January 2012

Brightcove & Adobe CQ5 integration

While Adobe CQ5 offers many out of the box video capabilities, some of our customers are using Brightcove’s video cloud platform and need to integrate the two technologiess. Adobe Solution Partner Coresecure have developed a very nice integration piece for connecting CQ5 with Brightcove.

I’ve downloaded the package and tested with my CQ5 installation and the content author experience is as nice as possible. Just drag & drop the Brightcove component onto a page in CQ, then search and drag the video you want to play from the Content Finder. That’s it! Sizing & alignment options are also available via the dialogue.

Features & Benefits

The Brightcove Video Cloud CQ5 component includes the following features:

  • Browse your Video Cloud account within the CQ5 interface
  • Search for videos by Video ID or by name
  • Embed a video and player into a page

A full guide on the integration capabilities is here

Getting Started Guide

Installation Instructions and an Administrative Guide can be found on opensource.brightcove.com, by visiting Coresecure or download directly from GitHub.

Pricing Model

This integration is a Brightcove Open Source project, available free of charge to the Brightcove community. Yes FREE!!!

 

If you’ve seen other CQ5 components out in the wild, let me know!

Building a robot: Dagu Magician Chassis & Arduino

I’ve been reading quite a lot about Arduino & open source hardware recently and managed to build my first robot! Since I learned quite a bit in the process I wanted to share the experience.

This robot is based on the Magician Chassis from Dagu using an Arduino controller & Monster Moto Shield. I order the kit from Australian Robotics who have had really good service and delivery times.

Robot parts

I approached the building in a few stages;

  1. Assemble the chassis
  2. Program the Ultrasonic Range Finder
  3. Program the Monster Moto Shield
  4. Combine the above three steps!

Assemble the chassis

Assembling the chassis was quite simple. Most of the pieces simply screw together although I had a bit of fun trying to get the motor mounts to snap in place. They were a bit tight but managed to fit so if you experience the same then you should get there eventually.

Assembled Motor & Wheels

 

Programming the Ultrasonic Range Finder

This part was fun and my first experience doing something more interesting with an Arduino beyond blinking a LED. I used a breadboard and experimented getting the range finder working in isolation. This is generally a good way to approach building anything, as once the range finder was working I knew that code was fine and could go onto the next step.

Before moving on, I made one simple mod to the basic range finder sample, and that was to add a feedback LED so I could see when the robot detected something in front of it. Not needed, but good for debugging.

In the picture below you may notice an Ethernet Shield, this is not needed and was simply part of my test environment.

Ultrasonic Range Finder on breadboard with Arduino

 

Assemble & Program the Motor Shield

This is the part of the project was the most challenging. I made a few mistakes but got there in the end.

First of all I could have probably gotten away with just using the cheaper Ardumoto – Motor Driver Shield rather than the Monster Moto Shield but after watching the demo video on the Sparkfun site and viewing some images, it appeared that that was the recommended controller and being new, I wanted to make sure things worked.

The blue screw terminals shown on the board below are not supplied so you’ll need to purchase and solder these on as well as the risers (not shown below) so it mounts on the Arduino board. If you are new to soldering (or a bit rusty as I was) you may want to practice on something else before burning out a $80 board. For this I used a different cheap Arduino shield to practice on.

Monster Moto Shield

My last hurdle was powering up the motors. I made the mistake of thinking that the motors would be powered via the base Arduino power source and spent a few hours scratching my head trying to work out why the motors wouldn’t start even though the board had lit up. I emailed SparkFun tech support and they quickly set me straight (thanks Michelle!) and advised that I’d need an additional power supply even though one was not shown in the photos. I connected a second power supply and voila! We have movement!

Putting it all together.

All that was left now was to combine the 3 stages above. Merging Arduino code, putting the sensors on the robot chassis and start testing it out. This part was smooth sailing and after a couple of trial runs and tweaks to the code, I’m quite happy with the results.

Side view of complete robot  Top view of completed robot

 

Here is a video of the completed robot

If you are interested in building something similar, here is the final Arduino code I used

SensorBlinkMotor.zip

 

Now comes the hard part.. what to build next? Stay tuned…

The Impact of Tablet Visitors on Retail Websites

Adobe has released its first ‘Digital Marketing Insights’ report based on an analysis of data measured by the Adobe Digital Marketing Suite. The analysis looks at aggregated & anonymous data across 150 Retailers with 16B transactions and presents key findings on the impact of tablets on purchase behavior for retailers. This is the first in a series of data-driven industry insights that provide leading trends in digital marketing to customers and partners.

Report Overview

The report compares the business impact of consumers who visited retail websites using tablet devices (“Tablet Visitors”) with that of visitors who used smartphones and traditional desktop/laptop computers.  It is based on analysis of 16.2 billion visits to over 150 U.S. retail websites during 2011.

Key findings:

  1. Tablet Visitors were 3X more likely to purchase than Smartphone Visitors and spent 54% more per purchase
  2. Tablet Visitors spent 21% more per purchase than Traditional Visitors and were nearly as likely to purchase
  3. The share of visits from table users quadrupled, from 1% to 4%, in just 12 months

Bottom line: Retailers can no longer afford a “one-size-fits-all” approach to mobile optimization because Tablet Visitors and Smartphone Visitors are distinct customer segments. Retailers should evaluate the opportunity that Tablet Visitors offer and develop strategies to better attract, convert and retain them.

You can access the report here;

http://success.adobe.com/en/na/programs/digital-marketing-insights.html