The Thinking Behind Proxi

A while back there was an idea for a device that, without getting into much detail, needed a little software written to push some information to it. The scope was pretty narrow and it started me thinking that perhaps if I wrote something to broaden it’s scope, and yet still satisfy the requirements of the project, that that might also broaden the appeal. I also started wondering if perhaps it made sense to try and manage the configuration of some of our other peripherals in one unifying application. Rather than writing code to, for example, adjust the volume in iTunes for both the AirClick and PowerMate software, why not consolidate that code and and define it as some sort of task that can be triggered via a button press on an AirClick remote, or turning the PowerMate knob? There are several obvious benefits.

So that was the genesis of the idea behind Proxi, the forthcoming software currently in the early stages of beta testing. What I ended up with is an application that allows you to configure these triggers not only using the AirClick and PowerMate, but also such things as key presses, new email, iTunes track changes, incoming Skype calls, speech recognition, RSS feeds, etc., etc. When a trigger is recognized, a task or series of tasks are conditionally executed. These tasks can include such things as simulating a key press, executing an AppleScript, displaying a message on screen, controlling iTunes, iChat, or Skype, launching or activating an application, writing data to a file, and so on.

Of course that’s the just the highlights… perhaps it would be easier to explain if I just tossed out a few screenshots.

AirClick trigger volume up controlling… …System volume up PowerMate trigger button controlling…
…iTunes Play/Pause Letting the Boss know… …that I’m hard at work
Using speech recognition to control Skype Adding extra data to a trigger Adding pre-configured triggers / tasks using the Blueprint browser