Thomas Joos | mobile application developer

(re)create your thoughts and expand your limits.

Archive for December 2008

Happy Holidays!

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iphone_happynyI would like to wish everybody a very happy new year! If you have new dreams, hopes, goals, expectations, .. I wish you the best of luck in order to achieve, earn, furfill whatever it is you are focussing on! ( Unless it’s my girlfriend, in that case I wish you the beating of a lifetime ). From my side, I would like to see my blog groing like it has been doing the last couple of months, and to keep inspiring my readers.  I also hope to see cool mobile and web projects coming my way and use them to learn and discover new exciting things. Having a mobile session at FITC Amsterdam09 I’m secretely dreaming of speaking at some other conferences as well. Besides that, I wish my company does not get affected by the economical crisis too much and I hope to keep working together with everybody in 2009! If you like to share your goals, dreams or hopes feel free to drop a comment :)


Written by vilebody

December 29, 2008 at 9:37 am

Posted in holidays

Mobile Vikings: A new Belgian Operator

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About a week ago CityLive released a new initiative: Mobile Vikings, a Belgian mobile operator offering free mobile internet!

Everybody has the right to have drinkable water, energie and education. We think having free acces to information and digital information is also a right everybody should have.

– Mobile Vikings


CityLive is thinking big, the Mobile Vikings initiative is part of something more!

1) Mobile Vikings: free mobile data

At first they will start with providing free mobile internet acces (1gb). On top of that they offer acceptable sms and call rates ( € 0,24 / MIN  | € 0,10 / SMS ). For a 15€ card you even get 1000 free text messages.

2) Mobile Social Networking: Lifeline

To stay in touch with your friends and family you need to now what they are doing. LifeLine is a mobile service that will provide facebook, myspace, twitter & wordpress functionalities on your mobile phone. This service will launch at 1/02/09.

3) Interaction with the world around you

CityLive is also preparing a set of tools and services for local organisations, hotels, restaurants, bars, … Using these tools these organisations are able to create mobile services at the right time, focussing on the right type of user profiles. Transaction management, mobile payment and even a doctor’s appointment are a examples of mobile services that can be created!

If you are interested and want to know more you can always go check out the homepage! If you want to be a mobile viking you need to request an acces code or you can send me an email because I have 10 invites left. First come, first serve: thomas.joos[@]

Written by vilebody

December 26, 2008 at 9:22 am

Playr 2.0: an AS3 Music Management Engine

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Playr is a Flash Actionscript 3 class built to take the heavy lifting off your hands when building any kind of music player appliction in Flash, Flex or AIR. Yesterday Ronny released an update on his blog and it all looks very promising! Ronny has put up a dedicated site for Playr where all of the information, code examples, downloads are gathered. Almost a year ago, I started playing with the first version of Playr. I was working on a RIA project for school called ”Interlude”.

The main goal of Interlude was to provide an flex/air based mp3 player which offered you a user friendly music management tool. For the beta version, I was planning to implement  a smart playlist generator,  using the api and a cool personal mood feature. Via Interlude looked for similar artists and generated a playlist filled with matches from your own music collection. The mood feature allows users to create their own personal moods. This can go from ”music@work”, ”workout music” to ”sex music” and allows them to tag their mp3 files. Whenever they feel like creating a playlist based on what mood they are in, this feature allows them to quickly generate an optimized playlist.

This all sounds very cool but I never had the chance to finish it. I just did not had the time to work out the first beta version, and as some of you might know, in the beginning of the second semester I started my internship @ Boulevart and from that point things went very fast. Any way, the good news is that my colleague Maarten (flex developer) fell immediately in love when I showcased Interlude at the office. He decided to bring it back to life so we will be announcing the first beta version of Interlude soon. Here are already a few screenshots from the first designs.


There still is a lot of work to do, and I think Maarten will kick my ass if he sees the standard components, but hey its a start no? :) We will be using Ronny’s Playr class in this project as well. If you want to stay tuned on Interlude and if you are interested in beta testing send me an email at thomas.joos[at]

Written by vilebody

December 18, 2008 at 9:55 am

Posted in AIR, as3, BoulevArt, Flex, interlude

The BMW Winter Tyres MMS campaign earned 45 million (!!) in additional business

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Via my colleague Erlend I came across this amazing BMW mobile marketing campaign in Germany. The BMW Winter Tyres MMS campaign earned 45 million (!!) in additional business. This tiny messaging campaign was not organized by a pornographer, or a crazy tones subscription provider, nor a phony voting scam on TV, nor some outrageously addictive social networking phenomenon. It was that ultimate driving machine company from Bayern, called BMW. The BWM Winter Tyres campaign is an excellent example of excellence in mobile marketing and advertising.

The campaign went out to only those BMW new-car buyers who bought their Beemer in the summer season in Germany. Out of all cars sold in 2007, BMW sold 117,000 to private citizens in the summer period (anyone who bought a BMW as part of a fleet, would have bulk buyers for their winter tyres). They decided to send out 117.000 MMS picture messages to all their customers, in order to inform them BMW was having a Winter Tyres action. It cost them approximately a total airtime of 60.000 US dollars. According to Ajit Jaokar, who did a nice analysis of the mathematics and economics of the campaign the BMW campaign received a 30% conversion rate (ie people actually showed up in a store, and made a purchase) which is an amazing number (internet advertising gets an average of 5% click-through rates..)

The cost of a set of winter tyres is 700 dollars, and average cost of tyres plus rims 2,500 dollars. According to the analysis, the average customer would spend approx 1,300 dollars. Multiplied by 30% of 117.000, this means that 35.000 customers ( who received the MMS message ) appeared at a registered BMW dealer and bought tyres and/or rims for their new cars.

Total earned by BMW out of this campaign = 45,500,000 million dollars. Comparing this to the total airtime cost of 60.000 dollars this means the following: The return of investment per single MMS ad transmitted was 758 dollars. Should we start questioning running television campaigns that cost millions and newspaper and magazine ad campaigns that run hundreds of thousands, with no way to measure their effect? Is this a win-win situation? BMW did a good job earning 45 million by a tiny MMS campaign and the customers who received an mms are feeling less spammed or bothered, they are being approached in a far more personal way and in this case they actually need this information! This campaign seems like a perfect match for both sides, no?

Written by vilebody

December 16, 2008 at 11:18 am

Cocoa touch for actionscript developers

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Last week Andy Jacobs, a former multimedia classmate / Boulevart colleague / friend of mine, started with a very cool initiative for actionscript developers who are interested in iphone development. On his new blog Andy will discuss some iphone SDK topics seen through the eye of an Actionscript developer. Andy will take real live examples (e.g.: Array Sorting, loading XML, drawing,..) and provide you with the actionscript version and convert it to objective C / iphone SDK. A perfect guideline for actionscript developers who are interested getting started with cocoa touch! If you are one of them this is the place to go: Cocoa touch for actionscript developers.

Written by vilebody

December 14, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Posted in as3, BoulevArt, Iphone

CrazyCam V2.1: Pictures and Movies

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A while ago, Maarten Cox ( Flex developer at Boulevart ) released his first version of CrazyCam. A flex/air application bringing photobooth features for windows users. Being donwloaded over a 1000 times at the Adobe Market Place it was quite a succes. Maarten worked hard on an update and here it is. Some of the biggest improvement are a new interface design and the ability to not only take pictures but shoot video’s as well! CrazyCam V2.1 also offers an implemented gallery where you can watch your pictures and video’s inside the application itself.

The new version can be downloaded from the Adobe MarketPlace. You can find more info on Maarten’s blog or at labs.boulevart.

Written by vilebody

December 10, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Posted in AIR, as3, BoulevArt, crazycam, Flex

Interviewed by DutchCowboys

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After receiving a max award for Rock Werchter Mobile I did an interview for DutchCowboys. Patrick Petersen asked me some questions about Boulevart, our submission and my vision on the future of flash on mobile. The BelgianCowboys picked it up as well. I think this is officially the first time I did something like this :)  Check out the video below but please note that it is in Dutch.

Written by vilebody

December 8, 2008 at 12:18 pm