MontrollerOne major issue with a smartphone lover is that of heading into a block with a particular device. Which is one major reason why some hardcore smartphone addicts are found switching from device to another or always looking for a way add an extra functionality to utilize the power of the device. There has to be something more substantial that we must be able to do with smartphones, like the iPhone, Android based devices or those from Nokia. That’s what folks at Montroller think.

Montroller surfaced with an interesting idea at Garage48, which was to transform your smartphone into a remote control for any device that is controllable. Why not? Your latest line of high end phones have all things necessary; accelerometer, powerful processors and a great interface, the only element missing is one’s drive to take smartphones’ usability beyond just making calls, messaging or enjoying a game or two. I quite liked the the fact that the team at Montroller just took 48 hours to come up with this fully working application. Here’s a short video of Montroller in works:

I thought it would be  better to get in touch with the team and ask them a few questions to learn more about Montroller and their plans ahead. Following is a brief interview:

AS. What is Montroller? What was it like developing this in 48 hours?

Montroller: Montroller is a project that turns your smartphone into a 3D wireless controlling device, using extensively its motion sensors, facilitating you to control anything by just moving your phone. To develop it in 48 hours was an awesome challenge — there were a lots of risky decisions, starting from the idea itself (the idea to undertake such kind of project), and it was emotionally rewarding to achieve and surpass our goals in the end.

AS.The origin of the idea? Spur of the moment/worked upon for quite  some time?

Montroller: Origin of the idea was pretty spontaneous brainstorming on the boat from Tallinn to Helsinki, the Garage event. There are more details on how it came up, in my blog post: http://shrt.st/twb

AS. You already have found success with support for all mobile platforms – what’s next (there is definitely something bigger here  than just making an application)?

Montroller: First of all, we are polishing the apps to become suitable for submitting into phone app stores. But yes, we are currently having pretty lots of ideas what else to do, starting from auxiliary mouse to laptop computers, to wilder ideas like driving your lawn mower or scooter with your mobile phone.

AS. What about working with or producing remote controls for Lego/Disney and others?

Montroller: For Lego mindstorm we just have to polish what we did in Helsinki and that’s it. For others we are actually still exploring the opportunities and choices.

AS. What about creating your own toys?

Montroller: There are some serious thoughts on prototyping some mechanical product completely by Montroller (Pearu from our team has been already working on some), but lots of it is still in wild brainstorming. Time will tell what we finally settle out.

AS. The future of smartphones – what is the possibility of these devices being the central control hub for all automated processes?

Montroller: As far as I can see, the sky seems to be the limit. Mobile phones have been so far really poor devices in terms of user input methods and its applications beyond just… well… making the phone calls. But adding more different sensors and communication interfaces to these devices have really opened up the new world of application opportunities, where it is not anymore a poor input device, but a convenient and ergonomic controlling, tracking and detecting device.

And what good is a mention if we aren’t to share who are the people behind Montroller? The team is comprised of 6 people who are well versed and experienced with what they are in for. I guess the right combination you need to bring to reality any idea that may otherwise be impossible for others. The members are:

Asko Seeba – Is the Project Manager and is the Nokia and iPhone and iPad Developer. He is also the co-founder, developer and project manager at Mooncascade.

Jaen Saul – is the Comm. Protocol and Windows Phone developer at Montroller. He is also the co-founder and developer at Mooncascade.

Annika Toit – Is the guy who ensures the idea makes waves across the globe, role translates to Marketing in short. His other role is that of Project Manager at SciencePark.

Pearu Orusalu – Is the man who knows the mechanical engineer at Montroller here. Other than Montroller, he is the Mechanical Engineer and Designer at Protolab and SciencePark.

Anton Narusberg – Ensures that the idea of Montroller is ported to the Android devices as well. His other role includes being the Android Developer at CannedApps.

Sander Saar – Sanders is the PR man at Montroller. He is also the founder of DiggiGuru, a technology and media blog.

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