For the last couple of months I’ve been working in my spare time on Kaleidoscoper, a new app on Facebook that lets you play with your webcam and upload images to a Facebook album. Check it out on Facebook here. Kaleidoscoper was inspired partly by QuickHoney and partly from my own general obsession with mirrors. I want to make tools that make it easy for people to create beautiful things, and it’s easy to make something pretty with a kaleidoscope.
It’s a lot more polished than a simple interactive sketch – I normally only spend a week or two on a sketch. After releasing You Wouldn’t earlier this year, though, I realized that people respond really well to polished products. While a rough alpha product will get the point of an app across to those who can understand it, most people won’t have the patience to figure it out. A polished idea and a rough concept both have their merits, and you learn different things from doing each.
I settled on polishing Kaleidoscoper while in the middle of developing Housifier because the underlying mechanics are much simpler. I wanted to understand a little more about how people use simple web applications. Facebook gives you some really nice usage statistics on an application, so I’m looking forward to making use of that. It has also been an opportunity to explore the new hardware-accelerated 3D capabilities of Flash Player 11, made available through Away3D v.4 (codename “Broomstick”). So far they seem pretty impressive.
I’d love to hear what you think. Do you like it? What’s your favourite mode? Would you be willing to pay for extra modes or features? Would you be interested in an iOS or Android verson? So many questions!