Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Smokescreen: Flash without the plug-in previewed

New start-up RevShock, has launched a website to preview a product they hope will catch on: Flash without the plug-in. Called Smokescreen, the software was developed by Chris Smoak. With Smokescreen, Flash files are converted to JavaScript/HTML 5.

RevShock is self-described as a "a new mobile ad startup based in Austin and San Francisco" -- and they are not lying the tart-up part, their website is just a template right now (though the site for Smokescreen is up and running).  In any case, this is what the company has to say:

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’re probably familiar with the fact that Adobe Flash doesn’t run on any mobile Apple device. Moreover, it looks like Apple is never going to let Flash onto the iPhone/iPod/iPad empire.

These two facts paint a bleak picture for mobile advertising. Many people still want to use their existing Adobe tools for developing ads, and retooling to support a single platform seems silly. As an ad network, we believe that dynamic, interactive ads are much more fun than boring static ads and thus, we were faced with two options: live in a dark, desolate world of boring mobile ads or do something about it.
The Smokescreen site contains a bunch of demos you can view as well as the video below -- which, ironically, uses a Flash player:

As mentioned above, Smokscreen is the product of Chris Smoak, a resident of The Haight. Digging around I see that Smoak has been involved in software development for quite a while (considering he graduated college in 2004). He has some interesting internships including stints with the CIA and Microsoft (no, they are not the same). After graduating he went right to work for Amazon where he only stayed one year before starting his first venture. (Amazing.)

Although I did not find his name on the Smokescreen website, I assume the second player behind this software is Andrew Hunter, who is listed as CEO of Gambit Labs (one of the companies Smoak is associated with), and is located in Austin, Texas.

OK, Apple, time to make an acquisition.