Thuzi Event Platform and Windows 8

Last year we delivered our live event platform to the market. The Thuzi Presence Platform was a huge hit and was immediately leveraged by brands such as Under Armour, OfficeMax, INDYCAR, Tampa Bay Lightning, Purina and many more. We were challenged with registering and supporting tens of thousands of attendees at live events in venues that ranged from professional football stadiums to convention centers. We quickly realized that the platform would benefit from implementing touch screens everywhere. We are clearly living in the tablet/phone generation and most people assume that every app is a touch app.

 

When we looked at the market for the best devices for touch screen, we looked at iPad, Android and Windows 8. We quickly found out that not only did Windows 8 do everything we needed it to do, but there were many form factors to choose from and we were already very familiar with the programming model. The ability for us to sideload apps to devices in the field made it very easy for us to build a native solution and be able to remotely support it. The Thuzi Presence Platform enables attendees to link their social credentials (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yammer, email) to NFC/RFID chips in wristbands, keychains, decals, etc… and then scan their chip to post content to their social network. The platform is made up of a number of very strategic applications that we plug into the platform depending on the activation requirements for the event. We decided to build our Registration, Photo Tagging, Photo Booth and Video Booth on Windows 8 and leverage many of the devices that support Windows 8. For example, we often use NFC readers that require USB connectivity and the Surface tablet has USB and iPads don’t.  Windows Phone 8 worked great for our mobile registration and Photo Paparazzi apps as well because of the built in NFC readers in the Lumina 920.  In addition to Windows 8, we use Windows Azure and SQL Azure as our backend which integrates very nicely with our front end event platform.  It allows great scalability and ease of development.

 

As we began to develop Windows 8 apps, we used both C# and JavaScript. With Microsoft adding WinJS, we were able to use some of our web developers’ skills to write apps that worked both in the browser and in the native environment. Since we work with Facebook as a PMD partner, we decided to contribute our WinJS Facebook integration work back to the community in the form of an SDK.

 

You can find the Facebook WinJS SDK here: https://github.com/Thuzi/facebook-winjs-sdk
You can find the Scrumptious Sample here: https://github.com/Thuzi/facebook-winjs-sdk-sample
Let us know what you think and if you need some help building the next cool app for Facebook for yourselves or your client, drop us a line and we will see how we can help you be successful!