Trevor Flowers

Ongoing Projects

  • PotassiumES

    Based on the ideas of the wider web, I am creating an ECMAScript framework for web browsers that supports the existing responsive web as well as AR and VR in portal and immersive display modes.

  • W3C Immersive Web CG

    I chaired the W3C Immersive Web Community Group for two years (2018 - 2020) that consisted mostly of herding cats and administrivia but occasionally inventing the future. I remain a member of the community group and an invited expert in the WebXR working group.

  • Transmutable

    I founded Transmutable to bring together designers, artists, and engineers in order to create delightful augmented, mixed, and virtual reality experiences.

  • Transmutable Soundstage

    I am producing a B2B cloud service that enables small teams to produce television-quality talk shows by moving to fully computer generated sets and digital actors.

  • Infosnek

    A bit of intellectual infrastructure in the form of a snake-shaped and shoulder-draped device with a heads-up display and two hand controls.

  • Web Glasses

    A collaborative effort to sell good web glasses that deserve your trust and that you want and need. (On hold while we figure out what the world looks like with covid-19)

Completed Projects

  • Babel React Annotator

    One of the problems of document element generators like React is that a lot of information about the generator is lost in the final render. This plugin maintains that information for testing and analysis tools.

  • Web Embed Lab

    I created a tool for testing that an embedded script does not negatively effect web pages. This tool helps embedded script writers and web site developers test embedded scripts to identify when there is a problem.

  • WebXR Device API

    I'm an invited expert in the W3C Immersive Web Working Group where we create standards like the WebXR Device API for augmented and virtual reality in web browsers.

  • San Jose Airport Art Net

    I worked with Gorbet Design to maintain the digital infrastructure underpinning the installation art at the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport.

  • DIVE VR Bodies

    In the early 90s the Distributed Interactive Virtual Environment (DIVE) group a VR system. The paper "A Spatial Model of Interaction in Large Virtual Environments" (Benford et al) includes several images of DIVE's simple digital bodies. When this Twitter thread popped up on a vacation day I used Blender to create and publish similar bodies for use in Mozilla Hubs.

  • WebXR Viewer

    While at Mozilla, I managed iOS developers creating an augmented reality and virtual reality browser. I also wrote the original ECMAScript code that implements the WebXR Device API.

  • Action-input

    I worked with others in the Mozilla Mixed Reality team to design and code an ECMAScript library that maps low level inputs like keyboard presses or recognized hand gestures into high level actions like "jump" or "teleport".

  • Firefox Reality

    I was the product manager for Firefox Reality, a new web browser for stand-alone AR and VR headsets. I managed the design team, coordinated with the engineering team, and protected everyone else from meetings.

  • Spaciblō Show

    I used the Spaciblō technology to prototype a sound stage in VR and host a talk show! I was the WTHost with the most.

  • Spaciblō Core

    I took the original Ogoglio City ideas for browser based social work spaces and implemented some of them using browser standards like WebVR and ES'15.

  • Momento360

    I was the original CTO and co-founder of this startup. We built a lovely app for sharing immersive experiences with family and close friends using 360 cameras.

  • Calendar of Science Saints

    The Roman Catholic calendar of saints provides us with opportunities to meditate on the lives and works of people chosen by popes. This project provides us with opportunities to meditate on the lives and works of people who have used the tools of science to further our understanding of the universe.

  • Is Butter OK?

    IBOK was a web site for people with food allergies or special diets. They filled out a food profile and then shared it with waitstaff and dinner hosts so that they received food that didn’t land them in the hospital.

  • Podipo

    I co-founded a design and engineering studio. We worked with dreamers to translate complex ideas into simple reality.

  • Skella

    Skella was a tool built by Podipo for designers, front-end, and back-end developers. It was a fast and easy starting point for every web design project.

  • Beam Series

    I wrote this short adventure series about alien interstellar travel and communication because I had a trio of characters who needed to get out of my head and because of one fact: Trees build themselves out of the carbon in air. Read them here:

    Beam, Ship, Sphere, and Link.

  • One-Pager Template

    I put together a template for quick "one pager" web apps that allowed devs like myself to go from idea to prototype in an hour or two. I used this for a series of experiments with mapping, infoviz, and exploring the lesser-used portions of browser APIs.

  • Trullo

    I released the Django project that ran my vanity site, trevor.smith.name, to make it more generally useful for people who aren't me and to use (at the time) modern materials like Backbone.js and TastyPie.

  • Memex #001

    My daughter and I built the first working Memex. The outside of the desk sized machine looks and acts like it was built in 1945, the year that Vannevar Bush wrote "As We May Think".

  • Captricity

    My team built a system for converting scans of paper documents into structured digital information. In addition to a scalable web infrastructure and an efficient pipeline for large amounts of digital imagery, we used machine learning and crowdsourcing to provide accurate handwriting recognition.

  • Spaciblō

    On this side project I was a code wrangler and general purpose advocate who provided open tools for people building social spaces (of the 3D variety) on the web.

  • Nadine

    I worked with the founders of a vibrant coworking space in Seattle to create an open source, member logging and billing system that balances their dedication to community and their need to grow beyond manual systems.

  • 2038 Solutions

    I ran a boutique tech team that turned many napkin sketches into working products. Our projects often included the web, public art, and the occasional airport.

  • Nuclu

    I founded Nuclu, a tech startup that provided positive crisis management tools and information to small teams. I shuttered the site and company when I joined Captricity.

  • Agilent Labs Research

    This project was shielded from public participation by a non-disclosure agreement. That said, you may draw your own conclusions from these two facts: Agilent has a rather large number of networked biotech devices and I have a background in heterogeneous device interoperation stacks.

  • Crosscut News Engine

    I led the development of a new form of online news engine for a team of forward looking journalists. Technologies I used include Django, the LAMP stack, and third party APIs like Facebook and Twitter.

  • The Ogoglio Project

    I led the effort to build a free and open platform for an online city for creative collaboration.

  • Transmutable Networks

    As CEO, I bootstrapped a web startup that built browser-based 3D social spaces. Before browsers had WebGL, WebSockets, or WebXR we used Java applets and hacked HTTP connections.

  • Recombinant Networks

    In Speakeasy (my main project at Xerox PARC) I took a description for a theoretical approach to heterogenous device interconnection and built a web-scale toolkit that was subsequently licensed to Samsung Electronics.

  • 93 Photo Street

    I noticed that there are a fair number of people on the web hand crafting photo maps and after a few months of research and design I released a map editor and publisher as the first product from the first startup I founded.

  • Speed Readers

    After reading about "Eastern Standard Tribe"'s release under a open content license I whipped up a quick Java applet remix based on the speeder reader work I'd seen by The Reading Lab from PARC. It took about 30 minutes of work yet it attracted more attention than my previous years of work. Go figure.

  • MoreMemory

    I drew a paper timeline of places I've lived and events in my life, but I kept erasing and redrawing. I made MoreMemory to allow me to rearrange events and zoom around in my timeline so that the details of my life remained fresh in my memory.

  • TIGER/Line and BIL Parser

    One sleepless night I wanted to hack up a few visuals of the SF Bay Area, so I built parsers for the US Census data and the USGS elevation files. They ended up being useful for other projects such as 93 Photo Street and the SF Bike Map.

  • Moon Font

    While looking around for writing equivalents to the Dvorak keyboard, I discovered a font called Moon that is designed for raised letter print for blind people. Moon also happens to be very quick and beautiful in its own way, and I use it in my notebooks. I also used fontifier to create a Moon true type font.

  • TopFeeder

    TopFeeder provided daily email news reports, based on a list of RSS feeds. I designed and implemented an RSS crawler, a J2EE based web interface for managing personal lists of feeds, an RSS search engine, and a daily email service. You can browse and download the source code from the TopFeeder SourceForge project.

  • Memex Simulator

    In 1945, Doctor Vannevar Bush published "As We May Think" that described the Memex, a personal information tool based on a process for rapidly processing microfilm. I researched the device and built a rough simulation of the user interface.

  • Globe Widget

    The Globe Widget uses an algorithm for a 1966 demonstration of the ARDS terminal to draw a globe. I ported it using Swing's double buffering, resizing, and antialiased lines.

  • Subduction

    One of the great times for hackery at PARC is during the winter holidays. In 2001, Ian Smith, Mark Howard and I built a P2P file sharing system built around three types of users: Whales (the fanatic with 10,000 files), Groupers (friends of the Whale), and Pilot Fish (consumption-only users). We designed it to minimize the negative effect of Pilot Fish while rewarding the Whales and Groupers.

  • Flannel

    Flannel was an experiment in embedding computation and web services in email servers. When sending mail, a person could signal to their email server to take some action by attaching a provided service URL file. Example services included "Attach a babelfish translation," "Notify me via phone if a reply is made," and "Post a copy to my blog."

  • Digital Voices

    A great researcher at PARC, Cristina Lopes, created an excellent process for sending information over sound waves using musical tones. I had great fun implementing a few of her algorithms in a Java toolkit, though people in adjoining offices quickly grew tired of the noises produced during development.

  • i-drive Rendlets

    My team combined a multi-terabyte database of metadata rich files, and roughly twenty Apache web servers, with our in-house XML+XSLT application service, Rendlets, to create shared photo albums, MP3 playlists, sideloading, and web hosting. Before struts arrived on the scene we had a scalable Java MVC web platform that recognized with varying toolsets the different roles people play in a web production group.

  • NetPositive Web Browser

    I "fixed" quirk mode bugs on the rendering pipeline and implemented a new download manager for the BeOS's original web browser.