You might have seen my previous articles about how technology like IBM MessageSight can connect cars or help insurance firms reduce installation costs. I use these two scenarios when I talk to audiences about IBM MessageSight, and because most people drive cars, they always listen and become engaged in the discussion. But nothing gets an audience talking more than a demo, and it is even better if they can take part in that demo.
Up to twenty players can play at once, so you can ask your audience to just access the link if they’d like to have a go at it. While the willing volunteers are busy playing the game, you can explain what is happening by showing the viewer panel. A quick warning here: you might have to re-explain what was happening as this game is so addictive and competitive that the audience can become fixated on it and might be unable to hear your explanation.
So let me explain what it is showing and why it is so awesome. Each time you hit a control button like the space bar (fire button), cursor button (left or right arrow) or thrust button (up arrow), an MQTT (MQ Telemetry Transport) message is sent or published to the IBM MessageSight appliance, which then sends an MQTT message with that action to all the subscribing players. This way the other players see your bullets or maneuvers in their browsers or on their mobile devices. The really cool bit I like about this is the shear speed—all this happens in near real time!
Because these actions happen in almost real time you can avoid being blasted by the others playing the game or you can do your best to blast them out of the game. Each time your spaceship hits a space rock you get points, and if you destroy another spaceship you get more points. For those of you who might get addicted, there are multiple levels to play. The harder the level, the more points you will get for blasting stuff, but beware because your shields won’t protect your ship for as long and aren’t repaired as quickly.
I like presenting this action demo because I’m rubbish at playing it: my name, JS, doesn’t appear on the leaderboard often.
What it does show to mobile app developers and designers is how MQTT can be used to send data from mobile devices either to another mobile device or into the enterprise by leveraging the power of IBM MessageSight. Because IBM MessageSight is also a secured appliance, it can safely be put at the edge of a data center in the DMZ so the company doesn’t have to open scores of firewall ports to potentially hundreds of thousands of mobile devices. Keeping a firewall strong is a recommended way of keeping yourself safer from hackers, so this is an important point if you are deploying mobile apps.
I’ve heard it said that we learn quickly and easily through games, and this StarFighter game certainly helps to show that. It is a great assistant when I’m explaining how IBM MessageSight can help get data from multiple mobile devices back to the companies that need that data.
So why not have a go and have some fun while you learn? Be careful though, playing this game to excess can lead to extreme extremeness.
If you are interested in trying out IBM MessageSight for yourself, you can download the virtual appliance at no cost here.
Have fun and please feel free to comment here if you like, or follow me on Twitter @JSamuelatWork as I often post about the Internet of Things.