Flash ScreenSavers

I have started to develop a screensaver that updates itself automatically to communicate messages on kiosks and office computers. As a way of communicating messages, it seems to work best on kiosks where screensavers are most likely to be turned on and stay on, such as in a computer lab or library computer area. On individual personal PCs, users are likely to not see the messages that the screensaver outputs because they immediately turn it off.

I thought the screensaver might make a nice way of communicating messages because it is something that is on someone’s desktop, and it is an application that loads without the user having to think about it. On some level messages are communicated, but it is not reliable enough on personal PCs.

To me, a screensaver is still a good way to communicate messages to computer users, but it can’t be seen as the main source of the communication. Perhaps the main problem with the screensaver is that a fair number users don’t know how to manually turn it on. The only way to see the messages is if the screensaver happens to turn on. In this way, a screensaver that updates messages automatically on the fly serves as a companion to a more primary source of information, such as a web site. The screensaver could even have exactly the same information as the primary source of information, this increasing the likelihood that messages will be communicated. Again, this type of communication is more appropriate on lab computers and library kiosk areas where the screensaver is likely to be turned on more than one computer at a time so people actually can see the message while they work on another computer.

At any rate, Flash is a particulary good technology to use to create a dynamically updated screensaver. Its fast to create animations and update, and just use a screensaver maker application such as swiff saver or the screensaver projector maker from http://www.flashjester.com/. You can make interactive screensavers that allow for mouse clicking and audio. The possibilities are endless and very cool.

A couple of things to be aware to make a screensaver actually save the screen.

1) Image objects can not stay in one place, they should be moved around to eliminate screen burn (which is an issue on the modern plasma screens from what I understand)

2) Have the screen fade out to black for a few seconds periodically…

All for now.

2 Comments

  1. free directory

    May 23, 2007 @ 12:49 am

    1

    I am also a screensaver developer, just love it 🙂

  2. Blogger Xstroy

    October 16, 2012 @ 11:48 am

    2

    Surprisingly, the site of the article is still working. Believed that the flash has faded into the background, but obviously there are still interesting areas of use.

Log in