NabazGroove is an application created by Hommes &Process during the “Office for Student” operation. Its goal: Allow Groove and Nabaztag, the WIFI rabbit, to talk together…
Groove and Nabaztag
Groove and Nabaztag are both innovative concepts and products. Despite the fact that they have different use and provide different services, I imagined few months ago that it would be a great idea to link them. As you already know, Groove allows a team’s members to work together, in a secure manner, being connected or disconnected from any network. Team members can work from different locations, or work for different organizations. Groove is able to gather these users in a single secured collaboration area to facilitate communication and share resources. Something interesting is that Groove is based on a “Push” approach: Users do not care about how they get updated information; it is automatically synchronized between all the workspace’s members. To help users getting a quick access to updated resources – contact’s connection, new message, new file in a shared space, Groove provide users with alerts. Nabaztag is a WIFI rabbit that provides users with a new way to interact with information. Using online subscriptions, Nabaztag is able to inform you about topics you chose: weather, news, RSS feeds… It uses vocal capabilities, colored lights and is also able to move its ears. These communication capabilities are mixed, depending on context and services.
Taking into consideration that on one hand we have an application that generates alerts and on the other, we have a system able to broadcast them with a playful/non standard manner, it was really relevant to try to link them…
Once installed on a user’s computer, NabazGroove allows users to choose a Groove account that will be used and also supply a NabazTag ID to identify the rabbit that will be in charge of relaying alerts. The user has 2 possibilities:
- Define alerts on incoming Groove instant messages. The user has the ability to define a generic alert that will be read as soon as a new message arrives in Groove : He can choose the voice and the content of the message that will be read. But he can also set up more advanced scenarios by creating specific messages based on the sender’s identity or by defining filters on sender’s name (For example : “the name starts with”, “ends with”, “contains”)
- Define alerts on new or updated content in workspaces. The user selects a workspace and a tool within it. Again, he’s able to choose the voice and message that will be used.
In both cases, messages can be customized by adding keywords (“Sender”,” Space”, “Tool”) that will be replaced on fly by the appropriate value when read by Nabaztag.
On a technology point of view
Without revealing the conception’s details, NabazGroove was developed using several technologies. In one hand, Groove Web Services API is used to listen to Groove events. As a reminder, Groove exposes several Web Services allowing authenticated applications to manage content : contacts, workspaces, tools, data, etc… Based on the context, several actions can be carried out : create, delete, read, write. But it is also possible to listen to events on these objects. It is this approach that is used in NabazGroove to detect updates or incoming messages.
On the other hand, NabazTag also has its own API. Interaction with the rabbit can be done by sending web requests to Violet’s (Nabaztag’s creator) server. These requests contains parameters required by the rabbit to execute a specification. NabazTag use “Jabber” protocol to maintain a link with Violet’s server. When a request arrives on Violet’s server, it is forwarded to Nabaztag to have the corresponding action executed. Of course, as well as authentication, Violet’s server also provides transformation services to send meaningful information to Nabaztag. (For example, a text sent to Violet’s Server is converted to a sound file before it is forwarded to NabazTag)
About Hommes & Process
Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Hommes &process is recognized both nationally and internationally as an expert and leader on Groove collaborative technologies: 2 Groove MVP (Microsoft Valuable Professional) and 4 Groove MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) within the current team is proof of the level of skills. Founded in 2003, Hommes & Process proposes a global offer including organizational / human and technical aspects. Member of Microsoft IDEES program (Microsoft program to support innovative companies), Hommes & Process is also a software vendor, provides the GrooveIT! product range and is recognized for its high capabilities to innovate.
Aware that a global offer based on Groove technologies perfectly fits Education needs (students, university, labs…) and having already successfully deployed such solutions for this kind of user, it was natural for Hommes & Process to collaborate with Microsoft to set up the “Office for Students” program and to provide all components related to Groove (NabazGroove, NabazGame, Groove Workspace templates, GrooveIT! offer, etc)
NabazTag is a WIFI rabbit provided by Violet. You just need to connect this companion to your local WIFI network and it will be able to relay messages sent by your friends and also to provide you with chosen information. For example, you can configure Nabaztag to get daily weather, news coming from RSS feeds of your favorites websites but also its daily moods (because this rabbit has character!). A lot of services are available online, allowing you to personalize your Nabaztag to fit your needs and desires. And there’s also a very active community providing extra goodies and services. Nabaztag is of course playful but also let us understand how communicating object will invade our daily life day after day. Looking at Nabaztag but also at Mirror, the new service to be launched in the coming weeks, Violet is unquestionably an innovative company to follow!