illumineX delivers EyeSpy update for macOS with new drifting balloon

[] Missoula, Montana – illumineX delivered Squeaky, a new drifting balloon character for EyeSpy 2.1 (and higher) to the Mac App Store, today.

The colorful, translucent Squeaky balloon is the most popular character among our marketing focus group and beta testers. illumineX developer Arlan Titchbourne tossed balloons around in a coffee shop to get inspiration for an all new physics model, to closely simulate the behavior of actual drifting balloons, small gusts of wind, and bouncing off the mouse cursor like a balloon off your finger.

To activate Squeaky’s drifting balloon motion in EyeSpy, open the Character Settings panel and choose any setting for “Motion” other than “Stationary.” The balloon will begin to slowly drift. It will change direction and velocity if you bump it with your mouse cursor. It’s fun to play with in idle moments, or when you need a slight distraction to get into a flow while thinking about your next task.

EyeSpy is a new spin on the classic toy in which cartoon eyes watch your mouse cursor as you work. EyeSpy includes free original cartoon characters developed in cooperation with professional artists as well as new characters available as In-App Purchase. Collections of new characters known as ArtPaX are also available.

All characters including Squeaky can be easily shared with your friends via Messages, Twitter, Facebook and any sharing platform supported by macOS.

illumineX CTO Alex Cone says, “While developing EyeSpy for the Mac, our motto was: better than it needs to be. Our drifting balloon character was just crazy. The idea seems so simple, but it cuts against the grain of the normal app behavior. We refactored twice before we were ready to ship the balloon.”

The Squeaky ballon character is available within EyeSpy as an in-app purchase for $0.99. EyeSpy itself is a free download. Other characters are available via in-app purchase or free download.

The all new Swift EyeSpy 2 began with a conversation about trying an experiment to bring the popular toy back to the Mac. The problem was that even after 15 years off the market, people still occasionally asked for an update to this fun and silly toy, where cartoon eyes watch their mouse cursor. But simply refactoring EyeSpy to run on current versions of macOS didn’t seem like The Right Thing to do. EyeSpy hadn’t been touched in 15 years. It felt like the right time to wipe the slate clean and completely re-imagine the product. illumineX CEO Gary Longsine had the crazy idea to apply a modern enterprise design process to the old free toy.

illumineX began by setting a few goals for the project, similar to those a typical enterprise or government client might seek when refactoring an enterprise mobile app. Adding “cloud services” isn’t enough. It’s important to begin by re-thinking the app purpose and core requirements. illumineX set three top level goals for the EyeSpy project: Monetization, Gamification, and Technology refactoring.

* Monetization – Make it possible for the application to support its own continued development, and more importantly support periodic refresh of the artwork in cooperation with professional artists.

* Gamification – Make EyeSpy feel playful and fun, even though it doesn’t have an objective. illumineX wanted EyeSpy to be a pleasant distraction, like playing with a rubber band on a phone call.

* Technology Update – Build a foundation for EyeSpy for the next decade using modern tools including Swift, and modern API including SpriteKit and CoreAnimation.

The result of taking EyeSpy through the same design, marketing, and engineering re-think process that illumineX use to help their clients is the all new product delivered this week to the Mac App Store. It takes quite a bit of effort required to make something seem simple, even when the starting point is a simple toy.

illumineX introduced a variety of subtle features to make the simple toy feel playful and fun. (Try grabbing any static cartoon character and throwing it off the edge of your screen.)

Using the same Agile development process they use for clients, illumineX designed, prototyped, reviewed in marketing focus groups, and refactored through multiple development iterations. As you can see in the EyeSpy app today this process was able to produce an In-App Purchase experience which seamlessly integrates finding and purchasing new characters for the app.

The iterative design and marketing review process also revealed a fourth import goal: social media sharing. Sharing was the most requested feature from every focus group. illumineX showed early versions of the app to over 50 people and almost everyone asked the same question: How can I share the cartoons?Even though it wasn’t originally specified, sharing was added as a top level goal for the project on the basis of this feedback.

EyeSpy Features:
* Easy to discover and download new Characters via secure download from In-App Store
* Drifting balloon character Squeaky floats about the screen, watching your mouse
* Available ArtPaX include Barnyard Babies, Citron Spies, and Eye Scream
* Cartoon sound effects and actions (try grabbing a character with the mouse and tossing it off the edge of the screen)
* Share Characters via Twitter, Facebook, Messages, and any platform supported by macOS
* Characters can be sized from Itty Bitty to Crazy Big
* Easy selection of character via Character Settings window or Command-Click
* Supports multiple monitors
* Character can be placed anywhere on your Desktop simply by drag it to where you like

System Requirements:
* macOS 10.12 (Sierra) or higher
* 64-bit processor
* 16.1 MB

Pricing and Availability:
EyeSpy 2.1.0 is Free and available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Lifestyle category. After you download EyeSpy, simply double-click the EyeSpy Guy character to open the Character Settings panel, where you can select new characters, download additional free characters, and purchase characters as an In-App Purchase. illumineX is available to help your enterprise or government organization rethink, redesign, and refactor your enterprise mobile apps. For more information, please contact illumineX. Squeaky the drifting balloon is available for $0.99 as an in-app purchase.illumineX
EyeSpy 2.1
Purchase and Download (MAS)
App Icon
Press Kit (zip)

illumineX helps enterprise, government, and startup clients design and build mobile and cloud software solutions. illumineX is committed to delivering quality consumer software products for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. The App Store is our resume. All Material and Software (C) Copyright 2018 illumineX, inc. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, macOS, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.

###Gary Longsine
United States
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