Archive for the ‘Company News’ Category

This month in projects

August 13th, 2010

While I spent the bulk of the space here writing about Shion, I figured that it might be useful to describe some of the client work that I currently have underway that is funding the work on your friendly neighborhood home automation app. I run Audacious Software as both a products and services company, and while it receives fewer mentions on this weblog, the services side of the company is much more mature than the products side. Fortunately, I’ve been able to find client projects that strongly compliment the product work I do as well, so there’s a nice virtuous circle at work here.

So, in terms of what’s keeping me busy this month, here are a few descriptions (provided with permission) of some of the other work underway.

The Audacious Software Laboratory

February 3rd, 2010

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be merging The Pennyworth Project with Audacious Software proper. The Pennyworth Project will continue to exist as the “Audacious Software Laboratory”.

For those of you unfamiliar with The Pennyworth Project, I set up the site and planned to follow up by establishing a 503(c) non-profit corporation that would serve as the distribution and development vehicle for the work that I began in graduate school. Unfortunately, running one company is more than a full time job and I never followed through with filing paperwork with the state, recruiting board members, and securing funding. In order consolidate and streamline my commercial and open-source work, I’m merging the two organizations under the Audacious Software banner.

So, what does this mean? First of all, The Pennyworth Project provided open-source implementations (BSD license) of context-aware systems. The core application is Pennyworth, a Mac desktop application that includes machine learners that are trained to predict users’ locations, activities, and social contexts. This is the cornerstone of the context-aware desktop that I am building. Pennyworth pushes out context updates to third-party applications that interpret the context and update their behavior accordingly. In my work, I focused on a couple applications:

  • Home automation: A home automation system can use context to more actively manage a user’s environment. For example, it can turn off lamps and shut blinds when it detects that the user is beginning to watch a film. It can tweak the local environment to an optimal state depending on the user’s activity. A casual reading environment may use dimmer lighting and a warmer temperature than an active working environment.
  • Notification systems: A context-aware notification system can moderate its intrusiveness depending on the user’s location and social surroundings. When the user is alone, it can be as intrusive as possible in order to catch the user’s attention. In a meeting, audible notifications may be disabled, while leaving visual indicators intact. In a lecture or movie theatre, the notification system may elect to store (rather than display) any notifications and update the user when they are in a more appropriate setting.

These are just two of many applications that I have in mind, and purpose of the Audacious Software Laboratory will be to move the ball forward on this front on the desktop and mobile spaces. Over time, I plan to push some of these innovations out to Audacious Software products in the interest of doing my part to put these systems in the hands of everyday users.

If you’re interested in reading more on this topic, I suggest that reviewing the Pennyworth technical report that I wrote with Dr. Darren Gergle last year.

Update: And we now have our first new Pennyworth code of the Audacious Software era, a location sensor:

Pennyworth Location Sensor

I have a lot of work to do to – including making the system compatible with 10.4 & 10.6 – but this will show up in the next release.

Shion news

October 16th, 2009

A few days ago, I posted an update describing what the company is up to. I wanted to follow up with a products post that describes what’s going on with some of the internal Audacious Software work. Since that work is almost all Shion-related at this point, this will be a Shion post. :-)

Read more for news on Shion, the iPhone client, and upcoming Caller ID features.

Company update: Client work

October 12th, 2009

It recently dawned on me that a whole month had passed since this weblog was last updated. The last several months have been quite busy between work on internal projects like Shion and work on external client projects. The lack of posts was not a symptom of a lack of company activity, but rather a reflection of how busy the company has actually been.

I’ve posted extensively on Shion and other internal projects, but for readers interested in the kinds of paying work that Audacious Software takes on, the list below is a sample of some of the projects from the last couple of months.

Read more for details.

A quick update

July 11th, 2009

It’s been a few weeks since I posted to this weblog and I’m overdue for an update. It’s been a busy couple of weeks, so please forgive my silence.

First of all, I wanted to report on what’s going on with Shion. Since the 2.0 release, I’ve received a number of bug reports and I’m working on the 2.0.1 release that will address these issues. In terms of device compatibility, I am also aiming to add support for the PowerLinc 1132U and EZFlora sprinkler controllers. I would like to include support for these in 2.0.1, but I will have to see how much time I have left after fixing bugs.

In terms of the overall project plan, I’m also reorganizing the project priorities a bit. The original plan was to release the desktop app, then an iPhone client, and finally some form of web interface. Since it seems that more people are interested in the functionality that the web interface can provide, I’m prioritizing that above the iPhone client for the time being. I hope to have something ready for my beta testers by the end of August.

I originally hoped to have more Shion-related progress to report by this time, but the realities of running a self-financed company have stepped in, and the majority of June was spent on the services side of the business, as opposed to the product side of the business. I’ve been hard at work on projects for the company’s clients and the work has been interesting and challenging. More important, however, is the fact that this work has allowed me to continue the business as the products spend time maturing and begin to take over bearing more of the financial burden.

Thank you for your patience and continued support,

Chris J. Karr, Founder & Chief Developer

Building identity is hard work.

January 25th, 2009

Audacious Software has a new web presence. Originally, I planned to reskin the original site this morning and spend this afternoon making a few last-minute tweaks for the Shion beta release. What ended up happening is that I spent all day working on the website, and I’ll be working tomorrow and Monday to get Shion […]

What’s Happening: January 2009

January 20th, 2009

When I really begin working on Audacious Software as a full-time endeavor, I wanted to post regular blog entries to describe some of the projects underway so that readers and potential customers could have a good idea about some of the work that I do. I had hoped to post this earlier, but such is […]