Aral Balkan (@aral) is a designer, developer, author, teacher, entrepreneur, and performer; a Renaissance Geek with a passion for designing user experiences and a desire to make the world a better place through technology and oratory.
He is a passionate User Experience advocate who tries to work on Stuff That Matters.
In 2006, Aral created the virtual tour of Number 10 Downing Street, the home of the British prime ministers since the 1730s.
In 2008, Aral created and staged the world’s first fully-virtual web conference, <head> , creating a model for future conferences that are environmentally-friendly. In 2009, at least two new conferences directly stated that they were inspired by <head> and adopted the <head> model.
As developer, Aral has been programming for over twenty years (he started really early), has a love for learning new programming languages, a passion for simplicity, and an enduring fondness for both visual and experience design. He is the creator of the SWX data format (the native data format for the Flash Platform) and SWX-PHP (the PHP implementation of SWX-RPC). Unabashedly an alpha geek, he is currently hacking Objective-C on the iPhone, Python and Django on Google App Engine, and, of course, what he is most well-known for, Flash, Flex, and ActionScript on the Flash Platform.
As entrepreneur, Aral is founder and director of Naklab, a UK-based idea factory and web consultancy.
Aral is an advocate of open source and Creative Commons and has launched several open initiatives and projects, including OSFlash, the home of the open-source Flash community, SWX, and, more recently, the Google App Engine Backup and Restore project to bring data portability to the App Engine platform.
Aral is immensely passionate about the potential that the Internet holds for individual empowerment, education, and the democratization of communication and self-expression. He finds the convergence of commoditized infrastructure, multi-gestural interfaces, the emerging ubiquity of the mobile Internet, and location-based services hugely exciting.
Aral Balkan at Multi-Mania 2011: Making the new everyday things:
This is a short reel with clips from some of the conferences Aral spoke at in 2012 (MIPTV, Handheld, From the Front, and TED@London).