Interview: Josh Koppel from ScrollMotion

So you have an idea for a iPhone application. You know its absolute genius, and you can’t wait to release it on the world…there’s just one problem…you don’t know even the most basic elements of coding, and have absolutely no hope of ever building it yourself.

What do you do?

Well, you could take a crash course in programming and spend a few years becoming an expert – or you could contact an iPhone development team. I had a chance to talk to Josh Koppel from one such development team – ScrollMotion – about exactly how that works.

Q. Who is ScrollMotion and what services do you offer companies interested in iPhone development?

A. We’re a full-service development shop with serious technical and creative capabilities. We have patents as well as very specific design processes that help us work well with our clients, no matter what their data looks like. We want to make detailed, beautiful little things for what is probably the most beautiful consumer device ever created. We want to build experiences that live up to that promise. We’re great at marrying our clients’ core business objectives with the exciting possibilities inherent in mobile computing.

Q. Do you work exclusively on iPhone development?

A. Right now we’re only working on the iPhone. We think Android has potential but iPhone combines everything we like. Google has yet to give us a device like that. The iPhone is easily the best dev platform that we’ve seen in the mobile space.


Q. What drew you to the iPhone as a development platform?

A. We’ve been working in the Apple ecosystem for about five years, specifically in development around the iPod and iPhone. A few years ago I started a company called TuneBooks which created the interactive liner note, which is the format for interactive album collateral that iTunes adopted some versions ago. Starting TuneBooks was actually a ploy to create a digital book format that wasn’t just high-resolution formatted text – graphics and art books. We’ve been waiting a while for creative people to be able to sell their wares in iTunes.

Q. ScrollMotion partners with other companies looking to develop applications for the iPhone. Do you have anything that you’re currently working on that we’ll see in the App Store soon that you can talk about yet?

A. We have three products coming out with the launch of the iPhone app store, they’re all for the Tribune Company, one of the largest newspaper syndicates in America. Our apps exist to help people navigate their daily commutes, interact in new ways with sports media, and connect with a new kind of entertainment. We focus on usability, design and fun.

Q. I know for a fact that several of our readers have some great ideas for iPhone applications swimming around in their heads. Do you work with individuals as well as larger companies?

A. Yes, we work with individuals as well as large companies. We work with content creators and big thinkers, people who think about this new space in novel ways, like we do. Most of our partners are companies or brands that have a lot of content they’re looking to extend into mobile. Our job is to think of the most fun ways to do that.

Q. How does the development process work between ScrollMotion and a partner?

A. We take their most important products and we re-imagine how they can be made fun with the addition of the Where and the When – location-specific data.

Information becomes inherently more interesting when you add those two elements. That’s the main question in the building iPhone apps – how do I make an experience more compelling when I put it into the physical world, when I add locality.

We create these things and then we fine tune our ideas to tie them together with revenue models like advertising. We’ve come up with a lot of new ways to advertise in the mobile space.

Q. Obviously you guys are behind the iPhone 100%, so I’ve got to ask, where do you see this platform going? Where will the iPhone be in 5 years?

A. We think that there will be at least 200 million iPhones by 2013 being used all over the world. We think that there will be hundreds of thousands of applications that people will play with and scribble on and glance at twenty times a day. We think that the iPhone will be a tool that’s used throughout the business world, by doctors and lawyers and soldiers and teachers, and we are very excited to be taking these steps into this great big new world.

Oh, and in 5 years we definitely think the iPhone will fly. Like a bird. In the air.

If you want to know more about ScrollMotion, or see if their services are right for you, you can visit them on the web at Scrollmotion.com.

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