Q: Why would someone want to interface Flash with an Arduino? Isn't the main point of the Arduino to run it untethered?
Chambers: One of the primary strengths of Flash has always been that it allows the creation of very rich experiences and applications across multiple platforms, screens and devices. Putting a Flash interface in front of an Arduino allows you to take advantage of the richness that Flash provides along with the extended capabilities that working with an Arduino offer.
For my Arduino/ Flash speed detector, I was able to use Flex to quick create a nice interface for my Arduino based speed detector. Because I used Flash (and developed with multiple screens in mind) I was able to easily deploy it to both the desktop, as well as my mobile device (an Android based Nexus One).
Not every Arduino application needs a fancy UI (or any UI at all), but I think that when it does, using Flash for the front end provides a lot of flexibility and portability that you just dont get with any other client runtimes.
Q: Would there ever be the possibility of actually making Flash run on an Arduino directly?
Chambers: We have already seen people run Adobe Flash on the BeagleBoard, which is similar to the Arduino. Given how fast the speed of these devices is increasing and the costs are falling, I suspect well will see more and more examples of Flash running directlyon these types of devices.
Q: How are people using Flash in the SBC space?
Chambers: I've seen a lot of do it yourself home automation projects using a Flash front-end (Kevin Hoyt is doing a lot of
work on this), and general experimentations and play. A couple of years ago at Max, we also showed an entire
luxury yacht controlled by Flash (Intelisea).
I think increasingly, the line between these lower level devices such as the Arduino, and more consumer oriented devices such as tablets and smart phones are going to blur (especially as costs converge), and we will see an explosion in the uses of these types of devices into all areas of our daily lives.
In general, though, the Flash community is incredibly creative, and when given the tools, always do things that we don't expect.
Q: Certain industry notables have been casting dispersion on how Flash performs on mobile, especially in terms of power usage. How do you respond?
Chambers: Most if not all of the discussions around Flash performance on mobile have all been based around assumptions. The reality is thatmultimedia content in general is by its very nature more CPU intensive (especially relative to static HTML pages). If you look at similar types of multimedia content created in different technologies, you
will find that Flash is consistently one of, if not the most efficient.
Regardless, performance and battery life were two of the areas that the player team really focused on for the Flash Player 10.1 release (which is targeted at mobile). At the end of the day, it all comes down to whether the Flash player delivers a good and useful experience. If it does, then developers will develop for it, and users will use it. Based on the initial responses we have seen around Flash Player 10.1 for Android, we believe we are on the right track.
Adobe MAX will be held Oct. 23-27 in Los Angeles. More information and registration details are available here