an incredibly ambitious new application this morning called Matix and many of its features will make hard-core web users hopeful that apps like this will emerge in other sectors as well. Matrix is a Rich Internet Application, or software that sits on the desktop but leverages web connectivity, and it's pretty as can be.Financial services company Morgan Stanley released
Adobe worked closely with the company to create what it believes is an app that pushes the envelope with regard to what can be done with Adobe technology. We believe there are a number of trends in play here that go beyond Adobe as well and are likely to be key features for many apps in the future.
Data Manipulation and Visualization
Matrix lets users combine their own uploaded data in CSV format with historical data compiled by Morgan Stanley. Sharp looking data visualization options are baked in to help with decision making. Real time data is fed into a dashboard type environment as well.
Rich Internet Applications
Rich Internet Apps (RIA's) are particularly well suited to data-intensive operations if they are constructed well. Users get the responsiveness of a desktop app combined with live updates from the cloud. The most popular consumer-level RIAs are Adobe AIR Twitter clients like Tweetdeck and Seesmic - but imagine these kinds of apps built by the powerful development teams working in financial services firms.
Mixed Human and Machine Communication
The Matrix product combines human-curated content chosen by Morgan Stanley's employees with algorithmically filtered content from the raging river of news and financial information that threatens to overwhelm users.
That content is delivered in a "news feed" type interface that looks a little like Facebook or Twitter, but where message headlines can be expanded with a click for reading and viewing multimedia.
Additionally, all of those pieces of content are accompanied by an IM-like presence status for the person who added the content to the system. That's hot stuff - like the human component of the real time web, augmented by data. We're very curious to see how well this can scale, but generally speaking - presence information online is something we really wish more apps supported.
The Matrix microsite is over the top with Flash and audio, but it's definitely worth a look. The product is is a fascinating look into the future. We hope that institutional investors don't get to have all the fun.